Video Editor: Vishal Kumar
Video Producer: Srishti Tyagi
The irony of NGO Prayas organising a ‘Run For Children’ event in New Delhi – where schools were forced to remain closed for two days due to severe pollution levels – wasn’t lost on Twitter.
The Delhi government on Wednesday, 13 November, had ordered closure of schools till 15 November, a second time in two weeks, after the air quality in the national capital slipped into the ‘severe’ category.
Working for the betterment of disenfranchised and distressed children in India, NGO Prayas was founded by former DGP Amod Kanth in 1988.
Many on Twitter questioned the NGO’s decision to go ahead with the event to mark Children’s Day.
Run For Children or Run Away Children?
“They should have organised run away from Delhi for children,” said one tweet.
Another suggested that children should be sent on “compulsory vacation out of Delhi”.
What the NGO’s Founder Has to Say
Kanth, while speaking to ANI said the NGO was founded by him on Children’s day.
“ We have been celebrating in Delhi since the past 10 years. It’s a very important day for the children and us.”
When asked about the event, he said, “We haven’t called children who study in schools that are closed. It’s a volunteer process, whoever wanted to participate, we have welcomed them.”
He pointed to the fact that he did not know about the air emergency until a day ago.
He further said, “Because of the air pollution, we have reduced the run. It was just a symbolic run. The main focus is on the cultural events that the children spend months working on.”
Air Emergency in Delhi
The air quality in Delhi on Thursday, 14 November, slipped into the ‘severe’ category with the AQI being recorded at 460.
The Dwarka Sector 8 air monitoring centre recorded an air quality index of 496 and Nehru Nagar and JLN Stadium 492.
An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered ‘poor’, 301-400 ‘very poor’ and 401-500 ‘severe’. The AQI above 500 falls in the severe-plus category.