An installation replicating human lungs were revealed on November 3 at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, as a part of a campaign by Help Delhi Breathe initiative, Lung Care Foundation and the hospital.
To progress the clean air movement, Jhatkaa a non-profit organization conceptualized the installation to demonstrate the impact of air pollution.
Every winter, Delhi's air pollution soars up to a critical level, impacting public health with the foul air. This polluted air can be compared to smoking 10-15 cigarettes a day, "Air population has reached alarming levels in Delhi and is causing severe damage to the health of the citizens. We have to act immediately to control this menace, otherwise, the health consequences will be disastrous. We are already seeing an increasing number of patients in our hospital continuously complain about a cough, irritation in throat and nose," said Dr D.S. Rana, Chairman, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
The installed artificial lungs were exposed to this very air that transformed in color. From installing at noon on November 3 to noon November 5, the artificial lungs turned white to black.
"I've seen a change in the colour of lungs over the past 30 years that I've been operating. Earlier I used to see black deposits only in smokers and others would have pink lungs. But, nowadays, I only see black lungs. Even teenagers have black spots on their lungs. This is frightening. With this unique installation, we hope to show people the reality of what's happening to their lungs," said Dr Arvind Kumar, Founder Trustee, Lung Care Foundation, Chairman- Centre for Chest Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
This evident contrast of colours within 48 hours depicts the plight of Delhi dealing with environmental air pollution, occupying the top position of being one of the most populated cities in the world.
The installation is a reminder of a warning issued by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, "The world has turned the corner on tobacco. Now it must do the same for the 'new tobacco'- the toxic air that billions breathe every day."