air pollution

12 million babies in South Asia are exposed to air pollution six times the safe limit: Unicef report

The study, released a day after the first International Smog Day, said these children, under a year old, face the risk of poor brain development.

About 70% of all babies under a year old, whose brains are at risk because of air pollution six times the safe limit, live in South Asia, a Unicef report said on Wednesday.

The number of such babies worldwide is about 17 million. Over 12.2 million of them are in South Asia, the report, titled “Danger in the Air” said.

“Not only do pollutants harm babies’ developing lungs – they can permanently damage their developing brains – and, thus, their futures,” said Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake.

Air pollution levels above the World Health Organization’s recommended limits is potentially harmful for children. Unicef emphasised that brain development in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life is critical.

The Unicef report comes while New Delhi, the world’s most polluted Capital city, and its surrounding areas regularly find their air quality moving into very severe and hazardous zones.

The United Nations declared Tuesday the world’s first International Smog Day. December 5 marks the anniversary of the Great Smog of London in 1952, which killed over 10,000 people directly or indirectly as a result of air pollution.

In New Delhi, the air quality was in the “very poor” quality on Tuesday, with the Central Pollution Control Board’s index recording an air quality index of 378. An AQI higher than 400 is classified as “severe”.

The index improved on Wednesday morning to 311. The air quality remained “severe” in Ghaziabad and Agra.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

Play
Play
Play

2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.