As my son approached his six-month-birthday, he began wheezing like a grandma on a mountaineering expedition. Our paediatrician said that it was common in babies in Beijing. — Pallavi Aiyar
This story is not unique to Beijing. Last year, a study revealed that 4 out of every 10 children in Delhi suffer from severe lung problems. The capital is choking on its own fumes, and no one can miss the thick pall of smog that hovers above the city’s skies.
As Delhi takes over the mantle of world’s most polluted city from Beijing, what can it learn from the Chinese capital’s decade-long efforts to combat pollution? How effective can the odd-even car policy be? How long can we protect our children using air purifiers and masks? Or are our children already doomed – have we crossed the point of no return?
Award-winning journalist Pallavi Aiyar was born and raised in Delhi and has spent the last 15 years living in some of Asia’s most polluted cities, including Beijing and Jakarta. She will tackle these questions and more in her forthcoming book from Juggernaut, Choked! Inside the World’s Most Polluted Cities. The book draws on her personal experiences as the mother of two small children, interwoven with hard-nosed reportage to bring you the unvarnished facts.
Pallavi Aiyar’s previous books include Smoke and Mirrors: An Experience of China; Chinese Whiskers and Punjabi Parmesan: Dispatches from a Europe in Crisis.