This is Gardiner Harris, and until recently, he was the South Asia correspondent for The New York Times, living in Delhi.
A few days ago, Harris left India's capital for fear that his son might die because of the pollution. Harris wrote in his New York Times article, "Holding Your Breath In India":
"FOR weeks the breathing of my 8-year-old son, Bram, had become more labored, his medicinal inhaler increasingly vital. And then, one terrifying night nine months after we moved to this megacity, Bram's inhaler stopped working and his gasping became panicked.
My wife called a friend, who recommended a private hospital miles away. I carried Bram to the car while my wife brought his older brother. India's traffic is among the world's most chaotic, and New Delhi's streets are crammed with trucks at night, when road signs become largely ornamental. We undertook one of the most frightening journeys of our lives, with my wife in the back seat cradling Bram's head.
When we arrived, doctors infused him with steroids (and refused to provide further treatment until a $1,000 charge on my credit card went through)."
In his article, Harris goes to explain that he went and spoke to some of India’s top pollution researchers.
Harris concluded his piece with a quote from his son, “My asthma will go away,” Bram said. “I hope so, anyway.”
Since publishing, Harris' piece has gone largely viral, sparking a lively debate as to whether Delhi is safe enough to raise a family.
Pia Kahol, a writer for Daily O, wrote a rebuttal, arguing that it was inappropriate (and a display of "Western privilege") for Harris to be so critical of India.
"You will understand by now how I feel for Delhi. I feel for this city. I bemoan its conditions. I crave for a better Delhi. For millions of Dilliwalas, this is our home, our city, our pride, and perhaps our embarrassment. Delhi has an indisputable heritage and its roots couldn't be more cosmopolitan. Modern day Delhi offers wonderful and serene hang outs like Hauz Khas village, Lodhi garden, India garden, Humayun's tomb, Meherchand market, Lutyens' Delhi. Dilliwalas also know and love the nuances of various pockets of subcultures that thrive in the city's individual neighbourhoods."
Here's another rebuttal to Harris' piece.