Delhi priest’s prayers for a ‘stroke of death’ spur him to pray for a god struggling to fight pollution

The rise in pollution in the Delhi River forced one priest to pray to a god struggling against its toxic effects. Komal Patil, an astrologer and spiritual director at Ganga Mission, said the city’s…

Delhi priest’s prayers for a ‘stroke of death’ spur him to pray for a god struggling to fight pollution

The rise in pollution in the Delhi River forced one priest to pray to a god struggling against its toxic effects.

Komal Patil, an astrologer and spiritual director at Ganga Mission, said the city’s recent pollution crisis had left him praying to a sun struggling against the city’s smog. He posted his prayers on Facebook over the weekend, writing: “A stroke of death has come at the city. The rains have become tainted with smoke/pollution which resulted in health problems for people, from throat, eye and lungs damage. I fear more – there could be a blow-out, a drowning of Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh and surrounding areas.”

“God help our city. May you bless us & make all the situations work in our favor,” he wrote.

Ganga Mission uploaded the video last week, describing the recent bout of air pollution, which caused it to go offline. Patil is an Indian astrologer known for his strong views on the importance of the sun to people. (The video was originally posted in January.)

Earlier this year, India’s Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said India’s cities are now choking under the effects of pollution, adding: “Air pollution has become the main challenge that we face.” In 2016, the World Health Organization ranked the country alongside China as the world’s most polluted nations.

In a county where more than half of children under five are stunted, and 13 percent of children suffer from stunted growth, polluted air is adding to a mounting problem. Last year, one expert compared the problem to polio, a highly infectious disease that was once endemic across much of the world. The percentage of children living in cities is closing in on that of the countries with the world’s highest polio rates.

In India, 50% of children under five suffer from stunted growth. Only 8% of nations in the world have greater numbers of stunted children. — Anil Madhav Dave (@AnilMadhavDave) April 17, 2017

Despite dozens of efforts made to address the problem, new data released earlier this month revealed that air pollution has steadily increased over the past two years, particularly in New Delhi.

The world’s richest country is no longer an exception to the alarming rate of pollution, experts say.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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