Should the Delhi half marathon be cancelled?
I am running a half marathon in Delhi, in exactly 2 weeks, DESPITE the terrible air quality in the city.
I am running the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon because I choose to do so.
I am aware of the disgusting quality of the air that we are condemned to breathe, just by virtue of living in Delhi, but not running for one day is not going to change a thing, in my humble (and totally unscientific) opinion.
Fellow runners, correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t we been down this route before?
Shocking pollution, then a plea, just before the race, from people who want it to be cancelled?
Didn’t we have the same scenario last year?
This whole “cancel the Ariel Delhi Half marathon” thing baffles me. Please do read this link if you wish to get up to speed on this discussion.
But here’s just one extract from the statement issued by the Indian Medical Association for you to consider:
“Hence, we demand that the event be cancelled immediately and postponed to a later date, when air pollution levels are better. IMA will be writing to Hon’ble Delhi Chief Minister, Chief Justice Delhi High Court and the Chairperson, National Green Tribunal in this regard”, added the statement.”
What does cancelling one race do, pray?
Are we runners the polluters?
I think not.
We are all (by and large) adults and are all (by and large) sensible people, so we are perfectly capable of deciding if we are going to run. It’s a choice, after all. Not an obligation. A choice.
We can all make our own decisions as to when and where and how much to run.
Don’t tell us not to.
Well, don’t tell us not to, unless, of course, you also demanded that the organisers of last Tuesday’s government-organised “Run for Unity” race cancel it.
Did you tell the government and our Hon’ble PM who flagged off the event of the shocking air quality?
And have you demanded that the organisers of tomorrow’s cycle race cancel it?
Did you petition the government to close down these two events?
And before issuing a statement demanding that ADHM be cancelled, did you petition the government to stop all cars from driving because of pollution? And halt all construction work because of the dust pollution?
If you did all this, then fine, I’m with you.
If you have indeed tried to close down everything that pollutes us all on a terrifyingly daily basis, then good on you, and yes, go ahead, and petition the organisers of ADHM.
If, on the other hand, this is the only event you are targeting, the question is why?
Is there some reason you are dead set on this event being cancelled, whereas Tuesday’s event, flagged off by none other than our Prime Minister & starring thousands of schoolchildren, was allowed to go ahead unchallenged?
Let’s end with a statement issued by Procam, who are the organisers of the event.
Here’s the link to their full, comprehensive statement.
And here’s the salient bit for you:
“As enshrined by the observations of the Supreme Court, who was seized of this matter last year, stated – “We will not stop or ban any marathon from taking place – as People have a fundamental right to Run.”
The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is inherently a panacea for the pollution issue plaguing Delhi. The Race Day keeps cars off the designated 21kms of the city, and salt mixed with effluent treated water that is used to wash the course, ensures that the dust pollution is negated making the Race Day a far more conducive environment for running.
It has been scientifically established that runners and people with active lifestyles are better suited to be able to deal with the ill effects of a polluted environment and are known to have better immunity.”