Delhi pollution: Parents divided on school closures as air quality worsens

Delhi pollution: Parents divided on school closures as air quality worsens

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has urged the Delhi government to shut schools till air quality across the national capital improves.

PTIUpdated: Thursday, November 03, 2022, 09:29 PM IST
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Calls to close down schools in Delhi due to the air pollution, have increased. | PTI

New Delhi: Though many individuals in Delhi have supported the proposal to shut down schools in the capital amid worsening air quality, some others have opposed it, fearing another hit to studies already impacted by the Covid pandemic. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has urged the Delhi government to shut schools till air quality across the national capital improves. The national capital's air quality has been labelled as 'severe' in the last few days, according to data from Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

Some parents have also urged the Delhi government to extend the school timings considering the pollution. Delhi Parents' Association president Aparajita Gautam said, "The majority of parents want that schools should be shut down as children are getting affected (due to the pollution), and extending the timings also won't help. The government should take measures to bring down the pollution in meantime."

However, other parents said school closure can raise problems for the children. "There is no need to shut down schools so soon. The studies of the children suffered a lot during the lockdown. The Class 10 boards are approaching. Closing of schools will be a problem for students," said Ramesh, a parent of two. Another parent, Sunita (40), said the government should extend the school timings. "The pollution is rising and air quality is worsening, kids cannot breathe. At least they can delay the school timings so that the children can breathe properly", she said.

Another parent suggested that children who have their board exams can keep coming to school for a limited period of time while the juniors can stay at home. "Today, the air seems very polluted. It is for the government to decide whether children come to school in this condition right now. It's for government to decide," Rammohan, a resident of Lajpat Nagar said. "The right decision would be that children who have their boards can keep going to school for a limited period and the younger ones can stay at home as it's important to protect them from pollution," the parent added.

Delhi parents, NCPCR haven't been the only one who have brought into limelight the air pollution in the capital. Author and socialite, Suhel Seth termed the worsening air quality as crime against humanity and Delhi's BJP chief Adesh Gupta said in a letter to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena that, "every seventh adult and second child", is affected by the air pollution. Saxena also called the capital "a gas chamber" due to the pollution.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has assured that the issue will be tackled "as people of Punjab and Delhi are taking all steps at their level."

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