By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal
The recently ended scheme of odd even in Delhi showed us all that things can change, people and authorities can come together if the change is desperately needed. Though dip in pollution level is being hotly debated by some environmental experts and scientists but the reduction in clogging of Delhi roads was apparent to everyone.
Initially when odd even was proposed it was a bitter pill to swallow but people realized something needs to be done and from first hand experience I can tell you that every leave, nook and corner of the national capital has a layer of dirt on it. Lungs of young children and elders are literally inhaling things that factories spew out in air. With conditions like this action became a necessity. The credit goes to Delhi government for taking the risk to do something about it. This is not uniquely Indian to bake political breads on people’s problems but it is a sad fact that parties have to fight over everything that can be leveraged to political ends. Though women, judges, diplomats, officials and others were exempted from this scheme but no one wanted to be left behind to play their part in making a cleaner Delhi. This shows that we are better than what the outsiders perceive us as. If it do us good, we will go out of our comfort zone. Little convenience is not a problem especially if it reduces travel time, petrol expenses and spares us from the loud horns and honks on Delhi streets that give blood pressure to a lot of people.
Its ok if pollution doesn’t come down to the levels anticipated in fifteen days, well its India, nothing happens instantly but a direction was needed. If it makes our life a little easier similar schemes and policies should be implemented and followed not only at the behest of government but by smaller groups of people. People living in societies, employees working in same offices or friends studying in same college can carpool, go on bikes or share a ride. It’s not difficult if we work together. Yes, there will be takeaways. Yes, there will be lessons but we have to appreciate the roadmap that is laid before us.
Now there is something for politicians to learn from this too. Though BJP and AAP are not always on same page and often their fights spill out on media circles but this odd even formula has been a source of respite for Delhites, this should not be a bone of contention between state and central government. The need of the hour is to come and work as a team because right from the prime minister Narendra Modi to a peon in public works department (PWD) everyone breaths the same polluted air of Delhi. This needs to be changed and Delhi has shown that it can be done.