Photo: Bhagya Prakash K. for The Hindu

I live in Bangalore, famed as the Silicon Valley in India. A city full of young lives working in new tech startups or completing their higher education, with those speaking the native language a minority. A vibrant city with the potential for becoming a model city, Bangalore could have it all. It doesn’t though.

I spend 1.5 hours every morning travelling 12 kilometers to work and the same amount of time, and sometimes more, travelling back. I use public transport; not Uber or a similar service because I cannot afford it, and because I still believe that effective public transport is a good thing. This is not effective public transport. Travel in the city is expensive by most standards of an Indian metropolitan. Air conditioned buses are extremely expensive and infrequent. The pollution here isn’t a slightly intangible feeling that appears in the dawn as thick smog; it is dry and assaults the sinus every step of every way. Some wrap a scarf around their nose and mouth in order to minimise the damage and walk on.

Too many institutions and corporate companies, big and small, have their own transportation. These mini-vans might seem like a good idea; employees get a chance to it at least. However, this leads to the much larger problem of extreme traffic congestion. In order to beat this traffic, every newcomer is advised that they need a personal means of communication, either a motorbike or a car. This is to beat the traffic. Nobody seems to notice that the traffic is not really beaten by spending half an hour at every traffic signal. Those with the air-conditioned cars have a seat, though,and don’t breathe in the toxic air. The streets are swept clean each morning and each morning the rubbish collected in small heaps by the side of the road is burnt away, leading to more smoke.

I am not sure how to go about improving the situation This post is, essentially, a call to anybody out there who has any idea about how to improve the situation. If they are actually willing to do something and if I can help during every weekend I get, I would love to be contacted. I look forward to the day when the food we eat and the air we breathe don’t work to kill us so quickly.