In Nature Khabar online. This link – http://naturekhabar.com/en/archives/9601
April 27, 2018
A mobile application ‘safa hawa’ was launched in Kathmandu some days ago. The app is said to provide hourly updates of the pollution level from two air quality monitoring stations currently. And the app is said to be available for both android and ios platforms.
Forget about an Iphone, I don’t even have an android phone. So, my question is, don’t I have the right to breathe ‘safa hawa’? What about them who don’t even have a mobile phone? Don’t they have the right to breathe ‘safa hawa’? If I were to make a very, very bad comment on the question, it would be – “Why are you breathing till date if you cannot even buy an android phone?”
I have no acrimony towards the developers or launchers. My only concern is – why are only a particular group of people focused? And why are we thinking of running away and avoiding pollution rather than trying to resolve the root of the problem? If the policy makers really want to push for policy changes, they don’t need a mobile app to collect pollution information; they can simply get the data from the monitoring stations itself.
We already removed a lot of pollutant particles from the atmosphere by inhaling and depositing it in our lungs but such pollutants never seem to have decreased there in the atmosphere. Same as the Bagmati cleanup program!
Let’s return back to ‘safa hawa’. For e.g., I have to go to Thamel. But my ‘safa hawa’ app shows that the level of pollution is very high there. How can I avoid going there when I have to go there at any cost? Maybe you can say that I could go there with some safety measures. Is there any place in this capital city where people could go without sufficient safety measures against air pollution?
Why is this discrimination even in the air we breathe? If you can afford to install air purifiers at your home, you can breathe safe; otherwise you have to breathe toxic air. If you can afford to buy effective, surgical masks every day, you can inhale hygienic air; otherwise you have to breathe toxic air. And now, if you can afford to buy an android phone, you can avoid the pollution; otherwise you have to breathe toxic air. This is when being poor really hurts.
Another thing I fear now-a-days is – one day people might start selling the portable oxygen bottles, which we have not seen till date only because somebody has not discovered it yet, and that will be a new business in this city. Like the water bottle business, as is going on in the second richest country in the world in terms of water resources.