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With the constant dip in mercury and air quality aggravating from moderate to poor to the very poor category in the national capital and its surrounding areas, the hospitals in Delhi are getting flocked by patients of asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other acute respiratory illnesses.
While the health experts have been witnessing an almost 20 percent rise in the number of such patients for the last two weeks, the influx of patients with no prior respiratory illness is also increasing with symptoms of asthma.
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Moreover, the experts have warned that long term exposure to severely polluted air could also result in the development of cancer.
Desh Deepak, a pulmonologist at the Centre-run Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML), said that air pollution has been well-recognized as a cancer-causing agent.
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“Air pollution is a Class, 1 cancer-causing agent. It is a certified carcinogen recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO). Long-term exposure to it could turn it into cancer,” he explained.
A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that promotes carcinogenesis, the formation of cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or because of the disruption of cellular metabolic processes.
Concurring with Deepak, Manish Sharma, medical oncologist at the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, said that air pollution is directly associated with the development of lung cancer.
“In 2013, the International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) had categorized air pollution as Group 1 carcinogen for lung cancer and Group 2A for several other kinds of cancers. It means that air pollution is directly responsible for lung cancer. However, an association with other kinds such as bladder cancer, breast cancer, and esophagus cancer is probable,” he explained.
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Sharma also stated that air pollution is exacerbating mortality among cancer patients by a whopping 22 percent. He pointed out that every 10 micrograms per cubic meter increased exposure to PM 2.5 leads to the risk of dying from cancer by 22 percent.
“A recent study done in Hong Kong on over 66,000 patients revealed that the risk of death in cancer patients getting treatment in polluted areas increases by 22 percent in comparison to patients who receive treatment in non-polluted regions,” Sharma explained.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: राजकुमार राव ने अपने पीटी टीचर से जुड़ा मजेदार किस्सा किया साझा
He added that the risk of cancer in new-borns also increases when their mothers get exposed to pollution while expecting.
Karan Madan, professor at the Department of Pulmonary Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), observed that a high level of pollution is triggering asthma among people having no pulmonary disorders.
“The rise of PM 2.5 level is clearly linked to increased problems with lung health. We have been diagnosing patients with no pre-existing respiratory problems exhibiting symptoms of asthma and other pollution-related lung diseases. Besides, the pollution is also aggravating the severity of respiratory diseases in patients with pre-existing pulmonary illnesses,” he added.
Anil Chaudhry, a senior consultant at Rajan Babu Institute of Pulmonary Medicine and Tuberculosis (RBIPMT), said that an extreme rise in pollution coinciding with winters observed these days have worsened 90 percent of the cases with pre-existing respiratory illnesses.
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“Patients with asthma and COPD do experience exacerbations in the winter. Changes in temperature and humidity contribute to seasonal infections. Further, air pollution is also a major threat. Patients already having respiratory illnesses are at the receiving end of this situation (air pollution). Their complications have aggravated,” he added.
Meanwhile, Deepak informed that the hospitals are receiving up to a 20 percent rise in patients suffering from chronic respiratory illnesses.
“It is an annual feature where the footfall of patients with existing lung and respiratory disease increases in the hospitals. However, the general practitioners working at community levels could witness more number of patients,” he added. (IANS)
Prior to the brutal second wave of the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cautioned civil services probationers against developing the despised "babu mindset". He gave the invaluable piece of advice while addressing civil services probies at the well-known Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie via video-conferencing. He also outlined the keystone mantra of "minimum government and maximum governance".
With the recent collapse of the under-construction flyover in Bandra Kurla Complex which injured 14 labourers, it seems like the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has got the PM's keystone mantra all wrong. The recent flyover collapse isn't an isolated incident, in fact, a month ago a similarly bemusing incident took place in the eastern part of the suburbs.
On 1st August 2021, the honourable Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri. Uddhav Thackeray inaugurated a flyover in the eastern part of the suburbs. In his inaugural speech, he quipped the BMC to smoothen the rough road surface. The BMC swing into action and the surface of the flyover was swiftly re-worked upon. But, instead of smoothening the pre-existing rough surface, the shoddy repair work added to the problem. To top it all off, the BMC added a barrage of speed breakers and rumbler strips on the bridge.
The shoddy repair work combined with a plethora of speed breakers caused long congestions on the Mankhurd-Ghatkopher stretch, ultimately killing the purpose of building the bridge. Moreover, after numerous accidents of motorbikes skidding on the bridge during the rain and the subsequent death of a rider the bridge was closed for traffic.
The construction of the flyover commenced in February 2016 at an approved cost of ₹500 crores. The project was slated to be delivered in January 2019 but was delayed multiple times. The BMC had also made a design change in the flyover by adding a connector to the Deonar dumping ground due to which the construction cost of the flyover was increased to over ₹700 crore. The flyover was expected to bring relief to the traffic on Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link Road but instead, it added to the existing traffic woes. On a concluding note, the maximum city of Mumbai runs on barely minimum governance, literally.
Keywords: Mumbai, Narendra Modi, Civil Services, Governance.
Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.
The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:
#1: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. In addition to three high-altitude passes and five river valley crossings, this is the only trip in the Himalayas that includes seven alpine lakes, each of which is a stunning shade of green, blue, or turquoise. The extravagance is limitless and breathtakingly stunning every day: infinite blue sky, a larger-than-life backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, colourful meadows overflowing with wildflowers, river crossings are just a few examples of what you will encounter during the trek.
You will be transported to a heavenly and unseen aspect of Kashmir on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. | Photo by prayer flags on Unsplash
#2: Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora Trek: The Sonamarg-Vishansar-Bandipora trek is a one-of-a-kind experience that provides a glimpse into Kashmir's undiscovered regions. Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey that is the perfect experience for anyone looking to get away from the frantic tourist rush. This trek is a fascinating journey that allows nature enthusiasts to bask in the splendour of nature's grandeur. The trek goes over many high mountain passes, some as high as 4000 metres in elevation. The hiking route, in addition to providing breathtaking views of the magnificent Vishansar Lake, provides visitors with the chance to see more than 50 alpine lakes.
Sonamarg, famously known as the Meadows of Gold, is the starting point for this fascinating journey. | Photo by YASER NABI MIR on Unsplash
ALSO READ: Top 10 Beautiful Sights To VIsit In Kashmir
#3: Tral-Narastan-Marsar Trek: The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. The hiking trail passes past a waving saffron field, beautiful meadows, and several streams. The path also crosses the Dachigam National Park, where there is an opportunity to see various animal species. Trekkers may take in spectacular views of the high mountains running parallel to them as they cut and pass through Narastan, a Hindu pilgrimage place.
The Tral-Narastan-Marsar trek is filled with a range of exciting experiences from beginning to end. | Wikimedia Commons
#4: Chhatargul-Mahlish-Gangabal: The journey, which passes through beautiful locations such as Chattargul, Mahlish, Kolsar, and Trunkul, provides a peek into an utterly uninhabited wilderness of Kashmir. There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one trek into the alpine wilderness. Trekkers can also enjoy fishing in the crystal clear lakes, camping, or just seeing towering snow-capped mountains while on their journey.
There are lakes and meadows adorned with flowers along the route as one treks into the alpine wilderness. | Wikimedia Commons
#5: Kolahoi Base Camp Trek: The Kolahoi Base Camp trek in Kashmir has been famous since the early 1900s and has been a goal for many seasoned hikers from across the world. While Srinagar serves as the beginning point for the trip, it is in Aru Valley that the actual hiking begins. The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. The breathtaking sight of the peaks rising into the sky on the horizon of the Pirpanjal and Karakoram ranges is certainly worth capturing. It is considered to be one of the most popular treks in the Kashmir valley.
The Kolahoi Base Camp Trek is a gentle adventure that is ideal for novices and families with children. | Wikimedia Commons
Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere. Trekking through various valleys and peaks while taking in the scenic beauty is something that always calms the heart and provides us with memories that we will remember for a lifetime.
Keywords: Kashmir, Lakes, Alpine, Hiking, Trekking, Treks, Sonamarg, Gangabal, Kolahoi, Chhatargul, Mahlish, Tral, Narastan, Marsar
The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.
It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.
For fifteen days, prayers are offered in temples and rituals are performed to help the souls get free from the cycle of birth, life, and death, and attain salvation.
At the same time, the Pitru Paksha is also an important period for people with Pitru Dosha, which means the curse imposed by the ancestors. Hence, in order to ask forgiveness, people perform Shradh rituals and offer food to the crows, who are considered as living beings that represent the dead. It is believed, if the crow eats the offered food, the ancestors are happy and pleased. But, if the crow doesn't eat the offered food and flies away, the ancestors are not happy.
The event of Pitru Paksha is widely observed by Hindus from all over the world, and they perform prayers and rituals in order to gain their ancestors blessings.