The latest Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report, a global initiative involving a network of international health bodies and the World Health Organisation has shown outdoor air pollution as one of the top 10 killers in the world. In South Asia, it is ranked as the sixth most dangerous killer, now three places behind indoor air pollution, which is the second highest killer in the region. The GBD tracks deaths and illnesses from all causes across the world. As two-thirds of the death burden from outdoor air pollution occurs in developing Asia including India, it is important to understand the health implications from this risk factor, which is scary as it makes everyone, rich and poor vulnerable. India cannot afford to enhance health risk at a time when much of its economic growth and motorization are yet to happen.
Delhi as a city has its own story to tell. It is ranked as one of the most polluted cities in India and Asia. It implemented many measures including the largest natural gas vehicle programme, relocation of polluting industries, converting two out of three power plants to natural gas, improved emissions standards, put a ban on open burning etc. But the problem has not gone away. Air pollution remains a major health risk factor. In view of this Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) is carrying out a perception survey of citizens of Delhi to know and understand their perception of the problem of air pollution and health impact. A number of health conditions are associated with air pollution today including cancer, respiratory and cardiac conditions, eye conditions, hyper tension, diabetes, vitamin absorption, etc. But for the purpose of this survey we are focusing only on the respiratory conditions – one of the most dominant impacts of air pollution – that people can easily track and understand. Please take out time to answer the following questions.