The mother and child bundled into the car. The doors hissed closed and hermetically sealed the car, which automatically rolled out of the garage. The dark violet haze outside made everything difficult to see. It wasn’t as if there was much to see. The nearby houses were pale hulking shadows. It was just a Level IV hazard. The mother was thankful that the haze wasn’t red – that would mean Immediate Emergency Alert. That would have meant no school. And, she had an important meeting at the office. She couldn’t afford to leave the child at home. She adjusted the mask over her face and over her child’s face. The air police had issued a notification that the new identity cards, which had been issued a month ago to all the families in the capital, would now be able to monitor the amount of air that each of them was sucking into the lungs. If anyone inhaled more than necessary it would mean consequences. The mother tightened her fingers on the steering wheel. She looked at the child. On her lap was the project for the science week. They had trawled the Internet for the project – Birds, The Extinct Species. The mother faintly remembered her father used to tell her stories of birds. She told her child stories about robots that flew in the sky monitoring the great smog!
Will there actually come a day when the deadly smog will rule our lives? Perhaps the environmental apocalypse is an inevitability.
But, as human beings we are creatures of faith ruled by the intrinsic desire to take initiative – to make things better. The counter argument to this is that we willfully destroy too, even knowing that the cost is too high. Yet humanity is an optimistic race and the apocalypse can be staved off if each citizen is ready to shoulder the kernel of responsibility.
Suncity School understands parents’ concerns and has shown great foresight and sensitivity towards maintaining student health by installing air purifiers in all the classrooms. Without a doubt the air that our students breathe for the greater part of the day within school is beneficial for their lungs. Its strategic location – nestled against the Aravalis along with plentiful greenery within the school quads ensures that the air quality is better than those found adjoining main roads.
Perhaps a day is not far off when the city installs moss walls also known as City trees – a self watering, self monitoring, solar powered pieces of green technology that mimics the action of 275 real trees to clean and cool air – as a mandatory feature of town planning, to efficiently bind nitrogen oxides, ozone and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen.
Our children are precious; they are the inheritors of this planet – the hope of the future. It will indeed be the greatest of days when these city trees outnumber the liquor vends that dot the urban landscape of the state that we reside in. Till then we hope, we strive and hope that schools such as Suncity continue the good work that they are invested in – of providing children clean air, a basic human right!