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Image: Vaish Photography ©

India Climate Manifesto for Earth Day

The planet is not in peril.

“The earth has suffered mass volcanic explosions, floods, meteor impacts, mountain formation, and all manner of other abuses greater than anything people could inflict, and it’s still here. It’s a survivor.” — Robert Laughlin, Stanford physicist and Nobel Laureate

The planet will survive no matter what happens. It is human beings who will not survive.

Our children are in peril.

This is no longer some abstract threat that will happen in the distant future. Pollution killed more than 2.5 million people in India in 2015 and more than 9 million people, globally.

To put it in perspective, pollution deaths account for three times more than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. Remember the Ebola crisis? So far, 8,997 people have died from Ebola.

Pollution…think about that for a minute.

We are not talking about earthquakes or famines for which we are at Mother Nature’s mercy. No.

This is a problem we can do something about. You and me.

It is really hard to wrap our minds around something invisible. A silent killer who attacks us without leaving visible scars. People do not fear or fight threats they cannot see.

But here is the thing, this silent killer, this invisible mass murderer, the one we have trouble confronting — it is maiming and killing our children. Today.

Not in the future. Right now.

1 in 3 children in Delhi has impaired lungs. Breathing the air in Delhi is equivalent to smoking 44 cigarettes a day. Pollution causes strokes, heart disease, lung cancer, allergies and acute respiratory diseases.

It kills 125,000 children under the age of five, every year in India. That is more than in China.

Pollution is killing our daughters and sons or handicapping them for life. The children who survive will be sentenced to lifelong and chronic health problems.

No parent brings a child into this world wanting the worst for them. No parent wants harm to come to their child. No parent wants their child to have a poor start in life.

Yet this is exactly what we are doing. Our inaction is destroying their health and denying them a future. Our children cannot wait any longer…

For politicians to act.

For government to pass regulations or to enforce existing ones.

For captains of industry to clean up their act.

For farmers to stop burning crops.

For citizens to stop lighting fire crackers.

We have the power the act. You and me. We have the power to give our children a healthy future. And take action, we must.

Our sons’ and daughters’ lives depend on it.

Find out how you can get involved: Earth Day India

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