Dr Mukesh Kwatra, Founder, SmilingTree

Mukesh Kwatra is an environmentalist. He is an alumnus of Sri Ram College of Commerce and a PhD in Environmental Entrepreneurship from Ecole Superieure Robert de Sorbon, France. He is the founder of the green initiative ‘SmilingTree’. He is also the author of a book titled ‘Awakening- Sailing through the Pandemic, 2020’. His writings and work, like his thoughts, are spontaneous and honest.


Delhi occasionally wakes up with a dense cover of smog, reducing visibility to zero in some parts of the city, but we have experienced both hot days and warm nights during the March to May season. These are perhaps signs of early summers. This winter season there was a marked decline in the number of freezing days. These changes affect the timing of many life cycle events. If emissions of greenhouse gas and pollution will continue at this rate, heat and humidity levels might be unbearable in upcoming years.

The rise of air pollutants has made the air more hazardous and left everyone worried about their health. Delhi is fast becoming a gas chamber. The air pollutants cannot be seen with our naked eyes and cause smog with increase in heat and subsequently melting of glaciers, thus shaking the ecological balance.

The Uttarakhand disaster is the result of climate change and its impact on ecology. The early summer leads to more use of electricity, fans, and A.Cs in urban cities. Experts say with this rate we will lose one-third of Himalaya’s glaciers by the end of this century.

The pollutants in the air cannot be seen with naked eyes. In order to understand the sources of these air pollutants, we need to understand the basic causes of air pollution.

There are many factors that affect climate change and other variations which can impact weather conditions globally.

1. Burning of Crops: – We are facing the smog problem in Delhi almost every year which is causing many health-related problems. The main reason for this is the burning of crops mainly by farmers in adjoining states Punjab and Haryana. It emits toxic pollutants into the air choking Delhi with deadly smog.

2. Indoor Air Pollution: – Use of toxic products at homes, inadequate ventilation, use of Air Conditioners above or below 21-degree Celsius, smoking tobacco, use of wooden stove or heaters which can directly or indirectly affect our health and environment.

3. Forest Burning: – In a couple of years we are facing more and more wildlife fires around the world. It is not just affecting the environment but also disturbing wildlife and their habitats. Forest fires release harmful substances which create smog, pollute air to an extent that it is difficult to breathe.

4. Transportation and Construction: –T We are seeing more vehicles than the people on the road in urban cities. Everyone is using their personal vehicle for transportation which is the major contributor to air pollution. Construction sites and materials contribute to hazy and foul air which is hazardous for people.

These pollutants, rising temperatures and more frequent, more intense heat waves are already damaging and endangering human health around the world. Extreme heat makes it very hard to work, especially outdoors, in humid countries like India. The Coronavirus Pandemic has served us a reminder of the urgent need to not only streamline the public health system but rapidly shift to a green economy. We need to drastically cut down the production of fossil fuels and reduce gas emissions, invest in public transport options, reduce the use of nitrogen fertilizers and chemicals in farming, which are a source of both air pollution and planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.

“Let go that damages environmental health and embrace the righteous green practices.”

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