Burning Tires to Keep Warm in Bihar, India

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The cold winter weather is none too easy to bear for homeless people in eastern India. Many of them burn tires to try to stay warm, but authorities are concerned that the act could harm the people's health as well as the environment.

Pavement dwellers, India’s poor population that live in roadside shacks, have no other alternative to beat the winter chill.

[Umesh Yadav, Pavement Dweller]: (Hindi, gender unknown)
"It is cold in Patna so we burn tires to keep ourselves warm. We know that burning tires is harmful for our health but we do not have any choice. Earlier, the government used to distribute free blankets and wood, but this time we did not get even that."

The Pollution Control Board of Bihar state organized an awareness camp to educate people about the effects that burning tires has on the environment.

[Subhash Chandra Singh, Chairman, Pollution Control Board of Bihar]: (Hindi, Male)
"Not only does the practice affect their health but it also pollutes the environment. We at the pollution board appeal to those people not to follow the practice and we will create awareness among these people about the ill effects of that practice."

The board also warned that pavement dwellers must abide by its rules or else action would be taken against them.

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