Is it unrealistic to dream of cutting down on pollution levels, which are taking a such a terrible toll on human welfare?
According to the newest report published by reputed medical journal The Lancet, pollution and pollution-related diseases claimed the lives of nine million people in 2015, and 92% of those deaths happened in low-to-middle income countries. Not surpisingly, only two countries account for half of the toll -- India and China.
Air pollution is quite heavily emphasised in the paper as, perhaps, the biggest contributor in this regard, responsible for more than two-thirds of the figure.
We cannot walk around this problem any longer.
Pollution threatens all our basic rights -- the right to life, health, well-being, workplace safety, and the protection of children.
And as always, it is the poor who get hit the hardest, which is what makes our country especially vulnerable.
Bangladesh is one of the densest countries in the world in terms of population, and, given the rate at which we are industrialising, pollution-related diseases are a frightening prospect.
In fact, the problem becomes compounded when we take into account the hundreds and thousands of Rohingya refugees we have taken in. To that end, it would behoove the government to take pollution into account in any initiatives regarding the health of the Rohingya.
The pollution problem is a winnable battle, but that does not mean we have to set ourselves back economically -- all we need are the right policies at the right time.