Experts say people’s health indirectly impacts Indian economy
In a recent report issued by World Health Organization, India is one of the world’s 20 most polluted countries. This is so much true as experts say bad air quality has become a major concern in recent years.
They also add that a large part of both rural and urban Indians are exposed to some of the highest pollutant levels in the world. It is imperative to take steps to reduce indoor pollution because it is where we spend most of our time.
It can be a serious problem as it can be more polluted than the air outside,’ says Girish Bapat, director, South and West Asia, Blueair, a global indoor air purification technologies and solutions company, speaking about the impacts of pollution on economy and health.
Both outdoor and indoor, is a year-round problem which will worsen for the future generation for whom maintaining lung health will become a battle. It plays a role in many of the major health challenges resulting in lower productivity among young working population.
Air pollution has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, diabetes, obesity and dementia,’ he adds.
So now the question is. How is this connected with out economy?
One of the examples of economic consequences are the welfare losses which are caused due to lower production and premature deaths from air pollution. Also, premature deaths result in lost labour income from the working population.
- In a study it was elaborated that an estimated 55 lakh lives were lost in 2013 to diseases associated with outdoor and in-house air pollution. Consequently, the economic burden it has created is tremendous.
- World Bank explains that premature deaths due to air pollution in 2013 cost the Indian economy about Rs 3.7 lakh crore in lost labour income and about Rs 34 lakh crore in welfare losses.
- These losses due to air pollution together made up around 8 per cent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP).
- In the past three years, India’s GDP growth was around 7 per cent per year, so air pollution alone might be negatively impacting the Indian economy’s growth efforts.