Delhi’s poor bear the brunt of deadly smog

Peace and Freedom

AFP

© AFP / by Nick Perry | Some streets in the Indian capital have recorded pollution levels 40 times the World Health Organization recommended safe level since Monday, with calm weather and the annual post-harvest burning of crop stubble in Punjab fuelling the crisis

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Rickshaw driver Sanjay can only afford a handkerchief to shield his face from the smog-filled streets of Delhi, even as many residents rush to buy protective masks to combat the toxic menace.

Better off inhabitants of the world’s most polluted capital are swarming sellers of face masks — costing more than the 300 rupees ($5) that Sanjay earns in a day — and high-tech air purifiers that could easily cost his annual wage.

Delhi authorities Wednesday ordered all 6,000 schools to shut until Sunday after choking smog descended on northern India, while people with breathing difficulties have been told to stay indoors.

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