In 2023, schools in India were closed for a total of sixteen days due to air pollution. This significantly increased from the previous year when schools were closed for only five days due to pollution.
The increase in school closures due to pollution reflects the worsening air quality in India. In 2023, twenty-two of India’s thirty most polluted cities exceeded the World Health Organization’s (WHO) safe limits for PM2.5 by more than ten times.
PM2.5 is a type of particulate matter that is so small that it can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer. Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of PM2.5 as their lungs are still developing.
The closure of schools due to pollution has several negative consequences. It disrupts children’s education and can lead to learning loss. It also puts children at risk of respiratory infections and other health problems.
The Indian government has taken a number of steps to address the problem of air pollution, including implementing stricter emission standards for vehicles and industries. However, more needs to be done to improve air quality and protect children from the harmful effects of pollution.
Here is a breakdown of the number of days schools were closed in India in 2023 due to pollution, by state:
State – Number of days schools were closed
Delhi – 10
Uttar Pradesh – 5
Haryana – 3
Punjab – 3
Rajasthan – 2
Bihar – 2