What’s happening in India right now gives us a dreary insight into what the future might look like as pollution and global warming spreads.
According to Straits Times, an English-language daily broadsheet newspaper, as air pollution levels rise to dangerous levels in the capital of India, oxygen bars are cropping up, hoping to offer fresh relief to citizens.
Already, Delhi is having a public health crisis, with pollution prompting authorities to issue a pollution emergency, shut down schools, and instruct elderly people and infants to stay indoors.
The oxygen bars sell clean air with “purified oxygen” sometimes infused with essential oils like lavender and lemongrass. Each 15-minute session costs 299 rupees and has been seen as a brief relief to India’s very bad air pollution.
|Photo Credit via Straits Times|
A man who runs one of these bars, 26-year-old Ayavir Kumar, says that his store gets at least 30 to 40 visitors per day to take in their dose of oxygenated air. In addition to these pumps and 299 rupee-sessions, his bar, Oxy Pure, also offers “portable cans” of oxygen so that customers can inhale clean air whenever they want.
So far, Kumar’s business is thriving.
|Photo Credit via Markus Gann|
Many in the city have so far turned to these oxygen sessions as a way to dispel the ill effects of pollution such as itchy eyes, runny nose, and throat infections. One customer, Saloni, 29, even said that she went to the bar to oxygenate her skin cells because she would be attending a wedding.
Doctors have advised people to be wary, especially since there is no scientific basis that clean air has amazing benefits even in high concentrations. But Saloni’s words illustrate the grim reality of why people have resorted to this:
“People may have different reasons… but yes when pollution is literally choking us, 15 minutes of oxygen is pure bliss.”