As the national capital lives with the choking soup that their city’s air has become, the family of Harsh Vardhan Singh is packing their bags to shift to Chandigarh.
The family of four is not going on a long vacation but has been forced to move once they rent out their their three-bedroom flat in Mayur Vihar Phase II. Singh blames Delhi’s poisonous air for his shifting.
“I have an elder daughter (4) and a son (1) but since September she was constantly coughing and was complaining of breathing issues. We thought the cough was due to weather change. We consulted a local daughter but there was no respite. A biopsy was conducted at a private hospital and doctors detected her of permanent respiratory problem,” said Harsh Vardhan Singh, a freelance graphic designer by profession.
Singh claims he will avoid Delhi from now on as the air in unfit for his family. “My daughter at a very young age has developed a permanent problem and we don’t want it to aggravate or affect our son and other family members,” he said.
His wife Savita said that during Diwali festival they had to keep their house sealed, and that conditions are beyond “tolerance level” now. “It is heartbreaking to see my daughter and son locked inside home. She was extremely energetic and sporty earlier but now she can barely play and runs out of breath very quickly,” she said.
Savita added that the family was shocked to know that her four-year-old daughter has developed a lung condition. “Whenever we go to the park, she complains of chest ‘tightness’ and keeps coughing. We have to take inhalers,” Savita said.
Experts have termed the situation in Delhi a major public health emergency; doctors say that living in the Capital equals smoking 50 cigarettes a day.