I grew up in Delhi in the early 90's, and visited every year after. I'll never forget the days when disposable bowls and plates were made of leaves, and drinks came in glass bottles which had to be returned. There was a time when our skies were blue and our air was breathable. I could have never imagined the state of emergency we are living in today.

As someone who has faced decades of asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and sleep apnea, I have been in the Emergency Room many times because I couldn't breathe. I've experienced acute and chronic breathing issues; I know what life is like when you can't breathe, and it's not life. It's panic, it's fear, it's pain and hopelessness. I would not wish that kind of suffering on anyone, yet my dearest loved ones are forced to breathe Delhi's unbreathable air.

I've seen, rather felt, Delhi's air quality deteriorate over the years. I've lost loved ones to chronic respiratory issues resulting from Delhi's air pollution. And we know that people are waiting for a solution, dying for a solution, dying to breathe.

Government corruption, corporate greed, and our own inaction have led us here. While we hope that government and corporations will act immediately to make our air breathable, we have seen that we can not count on them for immediate relief. The only people that can help us right away, are us.

We must come together to drastically reduce our air pollution right away, so we can get a breath of fresh air. What can we do? We can make coordinated, dedicated efforts to cut back on any air pollution that we personally create. As long as we all contribute sincerely, the improvement in air quality is bound to be felt immediately, but as mentioned, we all need to contribute sincerely for the difference to be felt. Below is the Call to Action to #SaveDelhiNow

CALL TO ACTION:

1) United Efforts:

Every Sunday and every Tuesday, we are making a united effort to cut back on all sources of air pollution in Delhi. If we all act together on the same days, the difference in air quality is bound to be felt immediately.

This is an initiative of voluntary efforts, so do what you can.

If you own a car/vehicle:

- On the specific days, use your vehicle only when absolutely necessary. Try to plan in advance so that you can avoid using your vehicle on the specific days.

If you own a factory/industrial source of pollution:

- On the specific days, for as much of the day as possible, do not create air pollution. Try to plan in advance so that you can turn off all sources of air pollution for several hours or ideally the whole day.

2) Personal Efforts:

Perhaps Tuesday or Sunday may be difficult for some of us, or maybe we are able to cut back on more than two days a week. Choose a day, or as many days as you can, on which you can cut back on air pollution.

3) Solidarity, Motivation and Awareness:

On the days that you keep our city clean by actively cutting back on your personal air pollution, wear something green to show your involvement and to encourage others to participate. It can be a green ring, green bracelet, a shirt with green in it, a green pagri, anything green, just so we can all see each other united in our efforts and continue to raise awareness to the general public.

4) Spread the Word:

Tell everyone that you know in Delhi that we are not giving up! We are not accepting this situation, and we will rise above our fears and doubts to restore our city, and keep ourselves and our loved ones alive. Spread this message and Call to Action to everyone you know. There is hope, tons of hope, but it is all in your hands.

We can either come together now and restore our city easily, or we can remain inactive and give up our right to breathe.

We know we can go weeks without food, and days without water. How long can we go without air?

#SaveDelhiNow

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