09:10 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Smog and dust in New Delhi

    Netizens Outraged as Children Made to Run in Marathon on Most Polluted Day in Indian Capital

    © AP Photo / Manish Swarup
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): With the air quality of the national capital region labelled as hazardous, schools were ordered closed on 14 and 15 November in the city due to smog engulfing the country, causing a burning sensation in the eyes and throats of people compelled to stay outdoors for any reason.

    However, in a bizarre decision, schoolchildren in India’s capital were made to run a marathon organised by the non-governmental organisation "Prayas" on Thursday as part of the “Children’s Day” celebration that takes place every year on 14 November in India.

    Children’s Day (14 November) marks the birthday of India’s first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru who was known for his fondness of children.

    After some short-lived relief, Delhi’s air quality has once again deteriorated to a national health emergency.

    India's Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has advised residents, especially children, to stay indoors in order to avoid outdoor exposure in the wake of rising air pollution in the national capital.

    On Thursday morning, the AQI level (Air Quality Index) in the Delhi and National Capital Region (NCR) was measured at 472 (severe). At several localities across the NCR, the AQI crossed the 500-mark, putting the regions in the “severe plus” air quality category.

    Despite the poor air quality, children in New Delhi were made to run a marathon to celebrate Children's Day.

    Pictures of some schoolchildren who were made to participate in a “Run for Children” event despite the capital being covered with thick smoke drew the attention of many netizens.



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