In the current scenario when schools in the Delhi NCR are shut for two days due to air pollution, many underprivileged children on the streets are forced to breathe the toxic air. These children struggle to breathe as they try to sell their goods at the traffic signals so as to be able to eat. The children at the traffic signals stated that "irritation and burning sensation in eyes" and "difficulty in breathing" are the common problems they are facing. A child said, "Our eyes burn and we experience difficulty in breathing, we don't have masks."
Private and government-run schools in the Delhi and NCR region remain closed for Thursday and Friday as the air quality remains in the 'Severe' category on Thursday. According to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the overall air quality of the national capital docked at 472 at 7:00 AM with particulate matter (PM) 2.5 levels at 322 and PM 10 levels at 487 at 8:30 in the morning. An AQI between 201 and 300 is considered 'poor', 301-400 'very poor' and 401-500 'severe'. An AQI above 500 falls in the 'severe plus' category.
Children and infants are more susceptible than adults to air pollution as they still developing and their respiratory tracks are more permeable. According to the UNICEF study, 2016, 'Clean the air for children', around 300 million children around the world currently live in areas where the air is toxic - exceeding international limits by at least six times. Using satellite imagery of outdoor air pollution, this study found that around 300 million children currently live in areas where outdoor air pollution exceeds international guidelines by at least six times. The study said in total, around 2 billion children live in areas that exceed the World Health Organisation annual limit of 10 mg/m3 (the amount of micrograms of ultra-fine particulate matter per cubic metre of air that constitutes a long term hazard).
The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, criticised the Centre over deteriorating air quality in Delhi and asked the government to find a solution to the problem of air pollution. It asked the Centre to explore Hydrogen based fuel technology to find a solution to reduce air pollution in North India and Delhi-NCR. In reply, the Centre also told the Supreme Court that it is exploring technology, including that from Japan and is trying to tackle air pollution. Furthermore, it has been decided that the Centre will submit a report on the issue by December 3.