Jharia: NGO distributes saplings as Id-ul-Fitr gift for clean air
It was an Eidi or an Id gift with a difference.
Youth Concept, an NGO of Jharia that known as the most polluted town of the country, distributed saplings among those who came to offer namaz at the local Madina Masjid on the occasion of Id-ul-Fitr on Tuesday.
Unlike Eidi that is normally given to children by elders or family friends, saplings were gifted to many who offered namaz at that mosque.
“It was a part of our activities for creating awareness about the alarming pollution situation of our town and also involving people in combating the same,” Akhlaq Ahmad, the coordinator of the organisation said when contacted.
After handing over the saplings, they also requested them not only to plant those near their houses but also to nurture those to help them grow as trees that will eventually supply oxygen, he informed, adding the recipients also promised to do so.
“The pollution level of Jharia is so alarming that the coming generations may not even find it easy to breath here,” Manoj Singh, a physiotherapist who also works for preservation of environment and warned and requested the faithful to help grow trees so that the future generation get oxygen from those trees for breathing easily.
According to Airpocalypse IV, a Greenpeace report on air pollution in Indian cities and towns that was published in January 2020, Jharia is the most polluted town of the country.
The report, after analysing the data for 2018 from Central Pollution Control Board monitoring stations in 287 Indian cities and towns, had found that PM10 — particulate matter measuring 10 micro metre or less — in Jharia was 322 micrograms per cubic metres that was much higher than the national prescribed standard of 60 micrograms per cubic meters (WHO standard was even less at 20 micrograms per cubic metres).
While Jharia was found to be the worst polluted town of the country, Dhanbad, its district headquarters, was placed at second worst slot with PM10 value of 264 micrograms per cubic meters.
“Though the authorities often said of taking appropriate steps, no result was visible,” Akhlaq alleged, adding “such small steps by the residents would perhaps help us survive”.
“A good sign is a large section of people have now realised that clean air is essential for survival,” he further said, adding those who would earlier dismiss their campaign as madness had now started taking them seriously.
Youth Concept also drew attention when it brought out an awareness rally on the Earth Day recently, showing the pollution had turned Jharia like a crippled person.