My 2016 wishlist: Manav Arya, part-time carpool driver

My 2016 wishlist: Manav Arya, part-time carpool driver
Total Views

I make video games for a living and I have been doing this for a while now. I have always been obsessed with technology and I like how it can be used to solve real-world problems.

I have had sinus troubles all my life but I moved to Delhi a year ago and it got even worse. The smoke and the pollution in the city is so bad that I was falling sick more often and ultimately I had to undergo a sinus operation in October.

That caused me to pay immense attention to the pollution problem in the city and I started reading up on how urban pollution differs from what many describe as general pollution. There’s a difference between emissions of harmful gases from industries which destroy the atmosphere and what happens here, where pollutants mostly come from vehicles on the road.

I loved using taxi-hailing app Uber while I was abroad and I continued using it in the city to get around. And when they announced carpooling in Delhi in light of rising pollution and congestion, I immediately signed up for it and offered my car for the purpose to do what little I could to reduce the impact on the environment.

It was easy to sign up and rides, when they come your way, are smooth. But the system is a little haphazard as of now. This is probably because there are not enough people on the platform and the legality of me getting paid for carpooling is still a grey area. I’m not sure if Uber will help me get my dues in case a regulatory issue arises in the future.

Going into the new year, I’m worried about my health and that of my friends and family. I feel that the government should raise awareness about pollution masks and air filtration systems. They need to suspend schools and business on days with extreme pollution so that people are not forced to breathe in toxic air just to earn their livelihood.

Public apathy is largely the result of the government not tackling this issue in a proper manner. Every time this issue is brought up by the media, some ill-considered plan is conceived and discussion just shifts to that subject. Instead of this rushed approach, the issue needs to be taken up as a continued health hazard for the masses. Only then will long-term reduction in pollution be possible.

I hope that the Delhi government wakes up to reality and starts taking pollution a bit more seriously in the new year.