Delhi smog: What it’s like to live with the most polluted air in the world

Winter in an Indian metropolis isn’t pleasant for anyone these days – but for the poorest, air pollution has become a devastating and deadly health risk, as Adam Withnall in Delhi reports

Wednesday 21 October 2020 20:13
A man rides a bicycle on a hazy morning near India Gate in Delhi
A man rides a bicycle on a hazy morning near India Gate in Delhi

Living in the Indian capital, Delhi, there is scarcely an issue that more clearly highlights the divide between the rich and poor than air pollution.

Each year, the smog descends upon the city, arriving in October as the fierce summer heat subsides, and with it the depressing realisation that there won’t be another clear blue sky until around late March.

The winter in Delhi is pleasant for no one: sleep with a window slightly ajar, and you’ll wake up to a scratchy throat, sore eyes and the stench of the smog entering your room in the morning.

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