A new initiative in India will employ up to 300,000 youths in an effort to improve air quality and provide opportunities to the unemployed.
Chaotic, majestic, polluting, and entrancing – words that describe India in all her splendor, but also relay the imminent need for transformation and environmental remedy. A growing country with 1.25 billion people, profound spiritual secrets, and increasing global power, India has long fascinated the world. But now it is is taking initiative in an inventive way that will provide youth with jobs, as well as the country with pollution-reducing trees.
To tackle the two problems of pollution and youth unemployment , India has arranged to employ potentially up to 300,000 young citizens to plant 2 billion trees along the country’s highways!
“The length of National Highways in the country is one lakh kilometer [about 62,137 miles]. I have asked officials to come out with a plan to plant 200 crore [2 billion] trees along these stretches which in turn would create jobs for the unemployed on the one hand and protect the environment on the other,” said Shipping and Rural Development Minister Nitin Jairam Gadkari.
The plan is beneficial for many reasons: it not only creates jobs for the segment of the population that is unemployed, but makes the country more beautiful while also reducing pollution. With 10.2 percent of youth unemployed in this country (reported by the World Health Organization) and trees long-known aids for reducing pollution, such a move is an intelligent one for India.
According to a recently conducted study in the UK, where scientists measured how much air pollution goes into a certain number of houses in Lancaster, the leaves of trees are incredibly beneficial at reducing metal toxicity in the environment. They did this by using dust monitoring devices and sweeping surfaces, and then analyzing what was collected with magnetic remanence, a technique that provides information on concentrations of iron-bearing particles.
What they found is that houses with tree screens had 52 to 65% lower concentrations of metallic particles. A comparison of all the dust monitoring data from the two original control houses confirmed that drop, showing a 50% reduction in PM1, PM2.5, and PM10 in the house with the trees in front.
Because heavy metal toxicity is linked with cardiovascular, neurological, and cognitive degeneration (all on the rise), such a study supports India’s initiative to plant more trees.
Giving the youth jobs will also benefit the global crisis that currently stagnates in this area. Currently 60% of the working population in India is self-employed, therefore an increase in available jobs will hopefully help boost the economy and decrease the numbing statistic of poverty.
All in all, India’s plan to boost the economy and reduce pollution will hohpefully serve as example for other countries to follow suit.