Stop killing your child

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Air pollution from your vehicle is killing your child.

Text of Stop killing your child

  • Hi there ! Hi. My name is Dasarathi. Everyone just calls me Das. I live in Bangalore. This is a small story about me. By the end of the story, it'll also be about you.
  • The story started 14 years ago, in 1999 My daughter, Amala, was 4 years old. She used to have frequent bouts of coughing and wheezing. Generally relieved by an inhaler, but my wife and I frequently had to rush her to a nearby clinic for nebulization, usually near midnight. Common story, right ? A lot of children have this problem.
  • My story, now - 2014 For 3 years I had a whole basket of bad health issues - persistent sore throat, snoring, poor sleep at night, hypertension, acidity. Doctors were clueless about the cause, I ate tabs for the hypertension and lived with the other symptoms. Recently, 3 times in as many weeks, I got a bad cough and fever.
  • And then, one fine day One day I coughed into the wash basin and saw this. Grey phlegm, when the normal colour is a pale yellow. I was horrified, then realized that the grey was from air pollution, went out and bought a pollution mask. My phlegm Clear water
  • I started using a mask when cycling... After 3 days of use, this is what my mask looked like. I was truly horrified when I saw what the mask had filtered out. After a week the cough and phlegm disappeared, and magically the whole basket of health issues vanished, my hypertension reduced. After 3 days New mask
  • That's Particulate matter (PM), microscopic liquid and solid particles suspended in air, created from automobile exhaust gases. Larger particles can get into the lungs and stay there. Smaller particles go deeper, into the bloodstream. The PM was destroying my lungs, my sleep, and my heart. What WAS that grey stuff in my lungs ? More about PM:
  • Why is PM affecting me so badly? Because my vehicle has been a bicycle for the past 14 years. So what ? A cyclist's metabolic rate is 4 times more than that of a car or bike driver. I breathe in 4 times more air per minute, and hence 4 times more pollutants. The same air quality affects me 4 times more.
  • That's YOUR problem ! Who asked you to cycle ? No, it's not just my problem ! My daughter had the same problem at age 4, and she didn't even know how to cycle! Every child has exactly the same problem as me. What's on my mask is in their lungs. Metabolism in children WHO manual: Children have a high metabolism because it is required for growth, and because they are very active. They breathe in 3-4 times more air than adults, relative to their body size.
  • PM kills children ! - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - World Health Organization Health effects of particulate matter - WHO, EPA
  • The effects of PM on children The effects when they are children, and as they grow into adults - Infant mortality - Low birth weight - Cancer - Chronic respiratory diseases, like asthma - Chronically reduced lung growth rate - Impaired long term lung function - Premature death related to heart disease - Heart attacks and strokes WHO report - air pollution causes cancer:
  • How much PM are our children breathing in ? Rise of air pollution in Bangalore over the past decade was 2nd highest in the world, among 189 cities. In Bangalore, particulate matter on busy roads is 6 times the WHO limit. Source:
  • And who's generating the PM ? Fuel consumption, gm. / passenger / km. The more fuel you use, the more PM you generate. People who use cars and 2-wheelers are the biggest culprits. Source:
  • You're killing your child ! How is this different from this ? This is quick This is slow
  • It's decision making time ! When do you plan to stop killing your child ?
  • Do you want to stop killing your child ? Get rid of the weapon - your car or bike. Switch to sustainable transport - walk, cycle or use public transport bus, train, auto, taxi. If you want to stop killing your child
  • You can come up with a million excuses, but... Your possible excuses It's impossible to walk the footpaths are bad. Buses are too slow and inconvenient. Cycling is unsafe, and I'm not fit enough. My 'status' does not allow me to take a bus or cycle. And your child ? Walks or cycles in the neighbourhood Takes a bus to school Uses sustainable transport, but is the victim of your addiction to your automobile. Which of your excuses is big enough to kill your child ?
  • How did I stop killing MY child ? 14 years ago, I realized that my own automobile was contributing to the pollution that was killing my child. Since then, I cycle, walk or use public transport to move around. I use a car only occasionally. I'm 54 now. Amala is now 18, uses public transport or walks, does not want to use a car or 2-wheeler even though she is legally allowed to.
  • One thing you MUST realize ! You have to do whatever is in your power, to stop killing your child, and stop others killing your child. And you have to do this yourself. Nobody not the government, not any NGO, is going to do this on your behalf, while you sit at home and angrily complain. If you do not want to do anything about this, get your answer ready, for when your child asks you WHY ?
  • Stop killing your child ! Today ! Get in touch with me at : Click here to see what YOU can do