The moment I stepped on the grounds of India I noticed the air surrounding me. Humid air clings to my body making me heated from the sun or chilled by the night breeze. It’s filled with unfamiliar scents and unusual vibrations of sounds that are made from the society of India, but within this country lies impurities.
India is the second most populated country that continues to contribute to global pollution. As I am traveling from city to city, it is evident to see product consumption that now remains as waste in the streets, bodies of water, and land. Almost every angle I look is contaminated in some shape or form from the pollutants– fuel adulteration, traffic emissions, fumes of biomass, mounds of litter, and debris.
A passing scene from the side of the road.
Looking into the backgrounds of beautiful scenes of architecture and landscape, they are dampened by the covering layer of smog. It brings me to wonder what it would be like to appreciate sights without the effects of pollution. The leaves of the trees would illuminate lustrous shades of green, waters blue from the clear sky, and streets free of trash. The closest image I have seen to this are the regulated parks from where I am from. Unlike India, the United States, for the most part, has clean cities only due to hiding the truth of how much Americans consume. Although waste is visually shown in India, some statistics indicate that India contributes less to global pollution than my home country.
I had imagined to take a picture showing the details of the Taj Mahal but instead have it subdued by the smog.
From my experience so far, I can interpret that there is little regulation to create a structured society which could be one of the many possibilities of why there is a lack of management in waste production. I rarely see disposal or recycling cans in the areas that need it most. I have also noticed a significant number of citizens living in what I consider poverty-level living conditions. Men and women of all ages including young children live in shacks that are surrounded by waste. I find it surprising that the people are undisturbed by the trash that is not only is affecting the environment but is unsanitary for their health. Perhaps their living standards are limited to what they know and lead to building a tolerance to the reality of pollution that surrounds them.
From the distance I thought this was natural terrain of India but is instead a man made hill of garbage with millions of birds flying above hoping to find something to feast on.
In the moments I see actions of responsibility towards creating a sustainable and clean environment, I acknowledge and appreciate the importance of our world. Imagining India without the interference of pollution would make this place more majestic than what I can see now; however, reality saddens me to know the world is being rapidly affected by everyone. So, let’s stop imagining and start stopping the interference.