Thursday November 15, 2018
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Indian Army initiates go green campaign this Diwali


New Delhi: Indian Army regiments in the National Capital Region have decided to go for a cracker-free, green Diwali to contribute towards healthier festivities in the pollution-battered city.

Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated to mark Hindu god Ram’s return post his 14-year exile. People of Ayodhya celebrated his return by lighting up earthen lamps filled with ghee. Since then, the lighting aspect of the festival was extended to firing of crackers and subsequently, use of electric lights for decorative purposes. It is said that the lamps attract insects towards the flame and, in a way, the environment gets rid of them as they get killed by going towards the flame. The ghee vapour which is released in the air is known to be a purifying agent.

Delhi is one of the most polluted cities of the country as vehicles, industries and bad practices of civil society pollute the atmosphere with the release of smoke and other pollutants in air, apart from adversely affecting water and soil.

During the time of Diwali, the level of pollution in the atmosphere rises alarmingly, adding to the woes of the residents who suffer from several diseases caused due to the pollution. Apart from people, animals go through a very hard time as well due to crackers bursting out everywhere because they have more sensitive hearing.

This year, the Delhi Headquarters of the Army Cantonment initiated a campaign for Diwali – This Diwali Let’s Go Green.

The initiative is to bring in an environment friendly, pollution free and safer Diwali this year. The campaign was already initiated a week prior to the celebrations starting in full swing.

“The whole idea of the campaign is to ‘say no to crackers’ so as to reduce pollution levels, as the extent of air and noise pollution caused due to bursting of fire crackers is a cause of concern every Deepawali,” Army sources said.

The Army had, over the weekend, organized a ‘Green Diwali’ mela which was inaugurated by Namita Suhag, president of the Army Wives Welfare Association.

Such steps by the Indian Army represent India’s bigger concerns such as environmental amelioration as opposed to the religious aspect, where certain sections would raise the point of Hindu festivals being ‘fiddled with’. This initiative of the Indian Army also recovers the old practice of lighting lamps on Diwali, as ‘Deepawali’ literally means ‘a line of lamps’.

The active steps taken by these men protecting our borders as well as focusing on internal troubles represent their concerns towards the nation on the whole. We, the members of civil society, must follow these initiatives for a healthier and happier Diwali.




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Air Pollutants Can Be Stopped If They Are Frozen : Scientists

The air-quality across the NCR was very poor

Pollution, pollutants, India, air pollution, WHO, diwali
India's Rashtrapati Bhawan, or the Presidential Palace is partly visible due to smog as traffic plies on Rajapth, the ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi. VOA

Freezing pollutants can prevent deadly outdoor air pollution — thought to cause more than three million premature deaths worldwide every year — from seeping indoors by 99 per cent, scientists have discovered.

The research, by a team of scientists from the Nottingham Trent University in the UK and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, involved studying the effectiveness of cryogenics for indoor air purification, by removing the gaseous pollutants and tiny particulates caused by haze.

The team found that as they circulated haze-polluted air through a cryogenic condenser, the finer particles stuck together in the condenser tube before dropping out by gravity, and emerging as clean air.

Air Pollution, China, WHO,Pollution, pollutants
A man wearing a respiratory protection mask walks toward an office building during the smog after a red alert was issued for heavy air pollution in Beijing’s central business district, China. VOA

Their method was able to remove 99 per cent of particulates and 98 per cent of nitrogen oxide pollutants.

“Hazardous outdoor air pollution has severely affected indoor air quality, threatening the health of billions of people,” said Professor Robert Mortimer, Dean of the School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences at Nottingham.

“Outdoor air pollution in cities is a global problem. While there are some existing technologies to purify indoor air, they can be inefficient, expensive or produce harmful by-products.

“When outdoor air quality is poor, people tend to spend even more time indoors – but outdoor pollution also leads to indoor pollution and people are still impacted.”

air pollution, Pollution, pollutants
In this Sept. 19, 2018 photo steam and cooling towers of a lignite power plant are reflected in a pond in Peitz, eastern Germany. VOA

The experiments, reported in the journal Science of the Total Environment, showed that by simply circulating polluted air through a small freezing chamber we can remove most of the fine particles and gas pollutants.

“Our study makes it possible to add an ‘air cleaner’ option to household appliances in areas which might experience extremely poor air conditions. By controlling indoor air pollution and improving air quality in this way, this work could be greatly beneficial for public health,” added Gang Pan, Professor at the varsity.

It is hoped that the work could pave the way for simple modification of air conditioning and humidifier units so that they can also clean polluted indoor air, the team said.

Air Quality, WHO, Pollution, pollutants
Air pollution can also damage your kidneys. wikimedia commons

Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) on Sunday witnessed “very poor” air quality with the minimum temperature recorded at 12.4 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads to Ban On Truck And Construction

The air-quality across the NCR was very poor, according to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research.

The humidity at 8.30 a.m. was 87 per cent. The maximum temperature was likely to hover around 28 degrees Celsius. (IANS)