Delhiites are giving anti-pollution masks a miss, here's why

Despite the AQI breaching the 999 mark last Sunday, toxic foam forming on the Yamuna, over 10,000 crop-burning fires being registered last week in Punjab and Haryana… many don’t want to wear an mask.

Published: 10th November 2019 11:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th November 2019 11:19 AM   |  A+A-

air quality, masks

For representational purposes (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Here's why many people want to give the anti-pollution masks a miss.

Mohammad Fareed, 28, Juice seller, Lajpat Nagar 

Never thought of wearing one. The weather has also become clear. If I wear it on a sunny day, I will start sweating. This will affect my productivity.

Aakansha Aaron, 32, PR consultant, Lajpat Nagar 

There’s nothing like an anti-pollution mask. I tried all masks at the medical stores till last year, and still had a headache, throat burning and congestion. I wish I could permanently leave the city.

Ismail Bashar Dost, 38, Medical store attendant

I mostly stay inside the shop, and if I go out I cover my face with the cloth mask. But I have bought a mask with the filter for my wife. The weather was bad till last Sunday, but it’s quite better now.

Rajni, 27, Constable, Central Industrial Security Force 

I feel awkward because the mask doesn’t look nice. None of my colleagues wear it. Since we have to be on-duty at the metro station, it’s difficult to wear it whole day. With a mask on I feel like I am struggling for air.

Tilak Swain, 21, CA Student, Defence Colony 

I feel suffocated. I feel it puts pressure on my nose and makes breathing difficult. But I have stopped venturing out much. I used to play badminton on weekends but stopped after Diwali.

Indu, 26, Dentist, South Extension 

I don’t venture out much. If I had a job that needed me to travel, I would have definitely bought one. But I still don’t have clarity on the level of protection these masks offer.

Jaipal Rana, 46, Data Analytics, Rohini 

I drive a motorbike, and while driving I wear a helmet. It really feels uncomfortable if I club face mask and helmet together. My bad.

Anjali Berry, 52, PR professional, Gurgaon

I don’t step out of office much and carpool to work. There’s a beautiful biodiversity park where I live. Recently, the authorities took an onus of planting more than a zillion trees, and after living here for 20 years I can already feel the difference. But I make sure my son wears a mask because he travels to CP by the metro, and Delhi is more polluted than Gurgaon. 

Kyraa Manchandani, 23, Public Relations Officer, East of Kailash

I’m very lazy when it comes to remembering to wear the mask. My work makes me run around without a warning, and in that the rush I don’t remember to take one with me. The sad part is we all keep telling each other that it’s a matter of just a few days and things will get better but we are in denial. That’s also why we put off wearing it.

Deepak Laleria, 35, Banker

I’m in Delhi for a few days just to visit my friends, and don’t want to spend so much on an anti-pollution mask that won’t even last for a year. If the government is really concerned about the wellbeing of people they should sell masks on subsidised prices. 

Amith Prabhu, 39, Social entrepreneur, Gurgaon 

A mask draws unnecessary attention. It may filter some amount of polluted air, but if ten layers of dirt are coming onto your face, I think mask will help you reduce just 2 or 3. It helps those with allergies, children and the aged, who are immune to falling ill. But for normal adults between 25-60 years, I don’t think it helps them. 

Anya Thakur, 27, Communications Professional, Vasant Kunj

It is not feasible because I’m always on calls on my earphones, and uncomfortable to wear during the daily commute.

Yash Raj, 20, Student, Hauz Khaz

Wearing masks to class is rather awkward. No one wears it. The ones I have don’t make a difference while breathing. The good quality ones are really expensive for us students.

Ashwani Kumar Sharma, Consultant, Shalimar Bagh

If one has a strong immune system, you can fight all odds. Have fruits, do exercises and yoga, rather than opting for external options.

Kiran Chadha, Educationist, Rohini

Till we keep destroying environment, nothing is going to help. We must also minimise the use of agarbattis and dhoop as these add to pollution. When I feel the air is ‘hurting’, I cover my nose with a moist handkerchief.

Rajeshwary Thyagarajan, Dance Teacher, Noida

Though I keep a mask in my bag all the time, I don’t wear it. At my home and at dance school, there are a lot of plants like areca palm and snake plant, which purify polluted air.

Tina Singh, 21, Publicist, Noida

The low-cost masks aren’t effective and the good ones are very costly. The nature of my work is such that I’m always on the move and I can’t afford to keep losing these masks. We have a few air purifiers at home and it seems to be cost-effective and a better idea than masks.

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