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Greenpeace Foreign Funds Banned: A Step Backward For India

Air Pollution

There are numerous issues surrounding India’s environment today, but the two that are in the most need of attention are air and water pollution. India’s air pollution levels are extremely high, and the air pollution is responsible for taking 3 years off 660 million people’s lives. New Delhi is the world’s most dangerous city in terms of quality of air. The WHO’s safety threshold for pollution in the air, using the PM2.5 (air pollution) measurement, is 10. Beijing is at 56. New Delhi is at a mind-blowing 153. The health implications are deadly, and include extreme lung structure damage, respiratory diseases such as asthma, chest pain, painful coughing, pulmonary congestion, lung cancer, and death.

Water Pollution

Globally, 1.1 billion people are today without access to a clean water supply, according to the WHO, and the majority of that population is in India. A worrying 80% of India’s sewage flows into rivers untreated, which is absolutely disgusting. The holy river Gangha, which provides a water source for many Indians, contains ashes of dead bodies, and sewerage. The river needs urgent attention, for the health of the people, and Greenpeace is one of the main associations that deals with and raises awareness about this issue.

Why Did the Government Do It?

A secret report by the Intelligence Bureau released approximately a year ago stated that projects being worked on by Greenpeace and other activist groups could cut off 2-3% of India’s annual growth rate by stalling the large energy projects with its funding. Modi’s incentive to silence Greenpeace is to see India grow economically, but is not addressing the environmental and health implications of it. This might well be a matter of national pride, turning help away, but the world knows India needs it.

Make In India

Modi has started a new national programme called ‘Make In India’, created in order to increase technology manufacturing in India. Economically, this is an effective campaign, but India’s manufacturing sector relies heavily on coal, the deadliest fossil fuel. In fact, in 2013, 71% of India’s electricity was sourced from coal. This is hardly surprising, considering India is consistently within the top 10 producers for different coal types. This excessive coal use is detrimental to the environment, and the people’s health.


India is the world’s fastest developing country, and should continue to develop, but not at the cost of the livelihoods of those who reside in it. The fact that Greenpeace’s foreign aids have been banned is a disappointing step backwards, and this mistake should be rectified before it’s too late– sadly, the statistics show it might already be.

[Image Attribute: JuergenGER]
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