By Rady Ananda
Home to two coal power plants, a fertilizer plant, and a large oil refinery, the city of Bathinda in Punjab, India is making people sick. Forty percent of the population (nearly 90,000 people) suffers from respiratory ailments. The area also suffers from a host of other diseases including cancer, at a rate triple that of other areas, which has been linked to agrochemicals.
Doctors are urging people to use medicinal inhalers, which is culturally stigmatized. Rather than demanding strict environmental controls, doctors have asked authorities to fund an education campaign to dispel the stigma associated with inhaler use.
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