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Lovish Kalia

Year-Prize: The 12th Eco-generation Environmental Essay Competition     Item: Beat Air Pollution

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Lovish Kalia (India)
Honorable Mentions



Air pollution is one big concerns that has grabbed the attention of many scientists and researchers to come out with new alternatives to replace the current sources which cause air pollution. Air pollution can be termed as the addition of unwanted contaminants in the air which are harmful for humans or decrease the quality of living. According to a report by World Health Organisation, 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air. This problem has affected every genus of life on earth.
I am a 21 year old Indian boy from a middle class family. In India whatever is an asset or a gift from nature, it possess a spiritual value to us. In our culture, there is a special place for plants like Tulsi (holy basil) and Peepal, even rivers like Ganga and Yamuna, and even animals like cows and snakes. It is important to have a Tulsi plant in every home. Leaves of mango, Peepal, Tulsi, kesar (saffron), chandan (sandalwood) are used at many auspicious occasions for they have a special value in various ceremonies. Many such plants and trees have their own importance at different occasions. I have spent my childhood following these traditions.
I still remember that night, when everyone was sound as sleep, suddenly I woke up and felt pain in my stomach. I searched for some medicine in the first aid box but could not find one. It was 1 or 2 at night so I didn’t call for anybody. I drank water and waited for some time but the problem went further and it turned into severe pain. Now the pain was unbearable and I went to my mother. Woke her up and told her about the situation. My mother called up for the doctor and asked him to visit us. I was very restless at that time, and when my mother saw that, she went and made kadha (extract of herbal or plant chemicals obtained by decocting) for me. And the kadha was so effective that in less than five minutes my pain was gone and I was back to my senses. By the time the doctor arrived and diagnosed me and told that it was gastric problem caused because of empty stomach and I was fine. I was really impressed by that special drink and asked mother about it. She told me that it was made by simply boiling Tulsi in water. Before that day I never realised its importance. It grabbed my interest and after that day I started spending more time than anybody else in my garden. The more I went towards nature, the more I learnt about them.
From a scientific point of view, such plants and trees have great medicinal benefits. Tulsi plant helps soothe your nerves and reduce anxiety and perfumes the air with a very characteristic scent. Neem cleans blood, is a natural pesticide, and removes mosquitoes. Aloe Vera is used to treat almost every skin and health related problem. And the best fact surrounding all these is that Neem, Aloe Vera, Peepal, Tulsi all of them release plenty of oxygen that means they release oxygen even at night. Orchid, rose, lemon grass, cactus all these plants occupy very little space can be easily grown in small pots. With these plants in my room, now I feel fresh and energised. There are numerous benefits of plants in your home but writing about it will not tend the sort of experience as experiencing it yourself.
On 21 August 2019, I read a news saying Earth’s Lungs on Fire. A lot of debates about the reasons for fires and the consequences if it’s not stopped, the carbon sink of the planet would fall and eventually leading to very harmful effects. The need of the hour is to reduce carbon print. Your garden needs to widen up so that what was earlier confined to one room now needs to reach the world. One tree affects a million lives.
Air Pollution cannot be fully eradicated or removed but there are certain ways by which we can control it or capturing and sequestrating it at its source. Use of alternate sources of energy which release less greenhouse gases, improvement in technology and its use in alternate means for countering the effects caused by air pollution. Maximum use of public transport or using cycles and other modes should be adopted so that no or very less gases are released in the air. Filters must be made compulsory for every chimney that emits gases and fumes whether it is common household or an industry. Use of loud speakers or horns or crackers should be avoided so that noise pollution can also be reduced. Prime importance should be on planting of trees because they will support your life system.
The onus is to heal the environment so as to leave an earth where our future generations could run, breathe, laugh, and live freely. This is the best time for each one of us to leave a symbol of life that we the people passed from this earth.


Preeti Yadav

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