Have you ever thought that the ones who ensure your safety on the roads are the most vulnerable to several diseases?
Braving extreme weather conditions and inhaling all kinds of pollutants, thousands of traffic policemen manage traffic on the roads all day.
Result - many of them suffer from a volley of diseases such as respiratory problems, heart diseases, cancer, musculoskeletal and neurological disorders.
To save traffic personnel from inhaling pollutants, the Delhi Police are planning to reintroduce anti-pollution masks this summer.
"We are exploring all kinds of anti-pollution gadgets available in the market. We need such masks for about 5,000 policemen, so that they don't inhale poisonous pollutants," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
"Also, the traffic police will not stop anyone seeking transfer from a traffic unit on health grounds," added Garg.
Till six-seven years ago, anti-pollution masks were issued to the traffic police. But, according to senior officials, these are no longer issued as many policemen find them inconvenient to use.
"We've received many complaints about masks from our traffic personnel. Most of them say these generate heat and are inconvenient to use," said a senior police officer.
Diseases like respiratory problems, heart diseases, cancer, musculoskeletal disorders and neurological disorders are quite prevalent among Delhi traffic police personnel, reveals a research on evaluation of effects of environmental pollutants in Delhi Traffic Police conducted by the Maulana Azad Medical College recently.
"Many traffic policemen are suffering from severe asthmatic problems. The Central Road Research Institute conducted a detailed study on this a decade ago. The plan to introduce anti-pollution gadgets will save the policemen from critical diseases," said PK Sarkar, School of Planning and Architecture and an expert in the field of transport and traffic.