I was all packed and excited about flying out early morning to receive a award for my film when, in the darkness of my bedroom I heard a strange cough. Switching on the lights, I saw my year old daughter awake and clearly in discomfort. Her cough sounded strange too, like a little bark.
We called our pediatrician and he immediately said that if it sounded like a bark, we should go with her to the emergency.
At the hospital, my husband and I were shocked to see a full emergency room. Little children all below 10 on beds, our daughter joined them. Her breathing had to be monitored.
Needless to say I cancelled my flight and stayed by her side for the next 2 days (we brought her home the next morning).
The papers reported that most emergency rooms were full as at that time there was a cloud of spm hanging over Bangalore.
This happened again the following year.
Now 13 years later, we see that the problem has only become worse. Governments come and go, all with one thing in common: disdain for the environment, for our children's health and for our right to breathe clean air.