South Asia

Environment

As New Delhi’s pollution crisis persists, so do widespread public denial and complacency

In early November, there was no escaping the fact New Delhi was facing a public health crisis. The city’s Air Quality Index, by some readings, soared as high as the maximum, 999. Schools were closed, questions of governmental competency were raised and high-level meetings were convened. Conditions have improved, but remain far from healthy. But you wouldn’t know it by observing daily life.

Justice

'For less than a dollar, you can [buy] a liter of acid and basically destroy someone's life'

Almost 10 years ago, a young Pakistani woman was held down by her mother-in-law while her husband and father-in-law threw acid on her. Some 150 operations later, Bushra Shafi is working as a beautician in a hair salon in Lahore, started by a hairdresser who was moved to help victims of acid attacks when one of them came into her salon and asked simply: "Can you make me beautiful again?"