Costa Rican Ambassador to India Mariela Cruz Alvarez on Tuesday said she had to move to Bengaluru because New Delhi’s air was “unbreathable”, The Indian Express reported.
“I am sick in South India with a serious upper respiratory infection due to New Delhi’s unbreatheable air,” Alvarez wrote in a blog post. “My tropical lungs couldn’t take the toll. I will be recovering and resting. It is not funny to see your lungs expelling a dark residue as if I was a smoker – which I am not.”
Alvarez said she now feels “the personal impact of our global lack of awareness” about climate change. “India, I love you, and it hurts me to see you drowning in loads of plastic and toxic air,” she added. “Where is the leadership? Clean air and water are basic human rights.”
“I’m living proof that our planet is dying, coughing as I write with my Indian bronchitis,” the Costa Rican envoy said, adding that she was able to see first hand the damage caused by climate change by coming to India.
Alvarez was appointed the Costa Rican ambassador to India in May.
Delhi and several parts of North India have been covered in a toxic smog since November 7, leaving the governments of the National Capital Region scrambling to bring in measures in the eleventh hour to bring down pollution levels. This had happened in 2016 as well.