As Delhi remained covered in a thick blanket of toxic smog, schoolchildren were made to run a marathon to celebrate Children's Day. The event named 'Run for Children' was organised by a city-based NGO Prayas.
Notably, the Supreme Court-mandated anti-pollution authority Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, or EPCA, has ordered schools in Delhi-NCR to be closed for the next two days due to worsening air quality. The Central Pollution Control Board has advised people to avoid outdoor activities and work from home as pollution levels reached critical levels.
Ignoring these precautions, schoolchildren were made to run a marathon in the highly toxic air. Pictures from ANI showed a deep cover of smog as the marathon began at Vikas Marg in Chanakyapuri on Thursday morning.
Delhi: A 'Run for Children' was flagged off in the national capital earlier this morning. pic.twitter.com/TzdGNt92HA— ANI (@ANI) November 14, 2019
Prayas, the organiser for the event, has been active for three decades and works for the development of children in several states. Former Delhi DCP Amodh K Kant is the General Secretary of the NGO. The run on Friday was flagged off by former Miss India winner and actress Simran Kaur Mundi. The banner of the event shows the logo of Life Insurance Corporation of India along with that of Prayas, indicating a possible partnership for the marathon.
Meanwhile, people criticised the marathon and its organisers for putting the health of participating children in jeopardy.
On one hand schools are closed due to pollution, on the other hand this. Who's the organiser?https://t.co/kEtLfuxxn4— Rohit Agarwal 🇮🇳 (@ragarwal) November 14, 2019
Children's Day celebrated by forcing children to run through a gas chamber. Whoever organized this needs to be sacked.— अभिमन्यु (@abhimanyuafc) November 14, 2019
The purpose of closing the school got dissolved with this stupidity. And that too without any masks 🤦— Pooja 🇮🇳 (@beyoond_starz) November 14, 2019
What the Hell?!!! They have closed schools for 2 days due to #DelhiAirPollution & these ppl are making kids participate in a "Run".— Doctor Outsider (@Tiara_RayPD) November 14, 2019
Who were the organisers?!!! Parents too need to be blamed.
Whoever has arranged this run, and whoever sponsored this must be booked for endangering lives of children— Sreenivas Bidari🇮🇳 (@BidariSreenivas) November 14, 2019