In the capital of India, oxygen bars have become popular amid a critical situation with air pollution


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3 points

Everything is so bad with the ecology in New Delhi that residents go for clean air to special institutions.

Photo Reuters

Since late October, residents of New Delhi, the Indian capital, have been plagued by smog. By mid-November, the level of air pollution reached a critical point: the atmospheric quality index was 467 units on a 500-point scale. In this case, 50 points are considered the norm. Schools are closed in the city and transportation is restricted.

Reason: in the fall, peasants in India traditionally burn stubble in the fields to prepare for the next crop. Indians do this despite bans.

Against the backdrop of the environmental situation in New Delhi, a new business has blossomed — oxygen bars. The New York Times spoke about one of these establishments — the Oxy Pure bar.

“I don’t know if it’s just a psychological effect or not, but it just brings me joy to understand that I breathe clean air for at least 15 minutes,” says a visitor to the bar, Ukrainian Lisa Dwivedi, who lives in New Delhi. Oxy Pure was launched in May 2019, a similar 15-minute session costs from $4 to $6.

It works like this: tubes are connected to the nostrils of clients through which flavored oxygen is supplied. There are seven “tastes” in total — from orange and mint to lavender and eucalyptus. This cocktail reception has limitations: no more than once a day, only 15 minutes.

The owner of the bar, Aryavir Kumar, notes that he initially did not think that it would be possible to make money. But the environmental situation in India has worsened every month. “Customers say:“ Is it really necessary now to pay for fresh air? ”. And I reply: “For 20 years you did not imagine that you would have to pay for a bottle of clean water, but now you are doing this,” the owner of the establishment added.

Photo IndiaToday

In front of the eyes of the journalist of The New York Times, a guy came into the bar, sat in a chair and ordered himself an oxygen cocktail with eucalyptus taste. They attached tubes to his nose, after which he took a deep breath. At the same time, breathing outside is not only difficult, but also dangerous — the level of air pollution exceeds the WHO standards by several times.

“The thought of clean air lifts my spirit in this city,” the guy said, closed his eyes, and again took a deep eucalyptus cocktail.


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