Parents hit out as schools reopen in the smog

Angry parents accused Delhi authorities of "playing with children's health" as schools reopened despite a fresh surge in pollution to emergency levels.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Angry parents accused Delhi authorities of "playing with children's health" as schools reopened despite a fresh surge in pollution to emergency levels.

Doctors declared a public health emergency last week when choking smog descended on the capital and elsewhere in northern India, prompting authorities to close schools, ban construction and bar trucks from entering the city. Yesterday authorities reopened schools amid concerns over upcoming exams, angering some parents.

"There has been no let-up in the pollution levels. So if the situation is the same, action should be the same. Why open the schools now?" said Ashok Agrawal, president of the All India Parents Association.

"On one hand the government is saying there is a health emergency and on the other they are playing with children's health.

"It is so disturbing to see children coughing and struggling to breathe all the way to the school." Levels of PM2.5 topped 500 yesterday, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE