Pandemic Will Leave 375 Million Children In India With Long-Lasting Health And Economic Impacts: CSE

by Sidharth Pandey 3 years ago Views 16226

Pandemic Will Leave 375 Million Children In India
375 million Indian children ranging from newborn to 14-year-olds may end up with long-lasting impacts ranging from being underweight, stunting, and increased child mortality to losses in education and work productivity, according to the ‘State of India’s Environment report’ released by Delhi Based 'Centre for Science & Environment(CSE)' on Thursday. The annual publication was released online by over 60 environmental thinkers, campaigners, activists, journalists, and academics from across India.

The annual report looks at a wide range of areas that directly or indirectly impact India’s environment. “From climate change, industry, air pollution and water to rural development, renewable energy, waste, habitat and forest, the 2021 edition – like its predecessors – covers it all, and more. It also has three special sections: an assessment of the pandemic and its impacts a year after, a data analysis of how India’s states are faring on environment and development parameters, and a tribute to the decade of biodiversity,” according to Richard Mahapatra, managing editor of Down To Earth magazine which published the report.

“The overall assessment is that our air and water quality is under stress; all trends show that pollution is increasing and this has massive impacts on our health. Even during the lockdown, data shows that river pollution did not reduce. Clearly, we need to do much more to improve the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink according to Sunita Narain, CSE’s Director-General.

In her appraisal in the State of the Environment report, Narain adds: “The pandemic is a shock response to our dystopian relationship with nature. It has amplified the inequity and deep divisions in our world. The places where the disease is most likely to breed is where there are no urban services; where settlements are overcrowded; where water supply and sanitation is inadequate; and where people have no way to stay safe.”

While the report puts the spotlight on the most vulnerable areas which need urgent attention including tackling air and water pollution to checking the diversion of forest areas for industry and coal power plants, it also highlights some of the good practices which have helped protect the environment to mitigating and reducing the effects of environmental degradation.

“The good news is that we are learning to do things differently. We are adopting technologies that will be affordable to large numbers and so, sustainable. This is where the answer will be – indifferently done sewage treatment, to mobility systems that will move people and not cars. We need to practice the learning that for a country like India, we cannot improve the environment without inclusive and equitable growth for all. And do this at scale. This is the challenge and the opportunity’ according to Narain.

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