“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder

It would break Wilder’s heart to know that in today’s era it is not only hard to beat but also hard to find fresh air and pure sunshine. You must be living under a rock if you’re unaware of the fact that the air quality of the capital is deteriorating tremendously every year. And in these times when air has spiked to awfully toxic levels do we really need a café that is selling fresh oxygen for a said amount of time? Or do we need a more permanent solution that is accessible to all?

Recently Oxy Pure – the first-ever oxygen bar in Delhi has been in the news. This place offers pure oxygen for fifteen minutes at the cost of minimum INR 299 and it goes up to INR 499. This Oxygen bar was launched by Aryavir Kumar in May 2019. Oxy Pure offers pure air – which is the need of the hour. Interestingly, it provides air in seven different aromas. You can find aromas like lemongrass, orange, spearmint, cinnamon, peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender. I agree that Delhiites need pure air to breathe but last time I checked clean air was my birthright, just like once upon a time clean/untainted water was. Unfortunately, now Oxygen is also coming up with a price tag. Every now and then I come across an advertisement where they endorse air purifiers, air filters, breathing masks and whatnot. Where people around me are relieved that such alternatives exist, I can’t help but think that all these products and services are doing nothing but making survival a luxury. Instead of taking some serious measures people are coming up with such vague and temporary ideas that only serve a certain group. Over and above that, such practices will only create a pattern of finding alternative and will make a basic need like “Oxygen” an extravagance for the underprivileged eventually in the future.

Are You Ready to Buy the AIR You Breathe?
Image Source: The Indian Express

I’m not entirely against the idea of the Oxygen Bars, as these are common in other parts of the world. People go to Oxygen Bars & Aromatherapy in various countries for holistic and recreational use. The problem arises when the place is endorsed as a rescue for Delhiites from the toxic air instead of calling it Aromatherapy. However, according to the experts, the intake of oxygen for a short while even at a high concentration has absolutely no benefit and has no scientific basis. It isn’t for the people of Delhi or to be more specific it is for the people who live in South Delhi, “The Privileged”. I’m sorry to burst the bubble but an average earning person would think twice before spending 299 rupees for just a fifteen minutes session.

Let’s be honest these are not real solutions, and I’ll say it again that such alternatives are nothing but luxury. We as a society, who are being affected by these circumstances, should find more permanent and natural ways to restore what we’ve lost. So instead of mocking the initiatives like Odd-Even and later going to the Oxygen Bar to detoxify, we should stand up for what is rightfully ours. Least we can do is stop Oxygen supply from becoming a mainstream business because remember nature gave it to us for free. Plus, I would prefer future kids to thank God for the air they breathe and not some money-minting organization.