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Watch: Still confused about demonetisation? This creatively edited mash-up sets the record straight

‘Demonetisation, Ek Kadwa Sach’ is here to crunch the numbers for you.

“Brothers and sisters, the 500 and 1000 rupee notes hoarded by anti-national and anti-social elements will become just worthless pieces of paper,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the nation cheered and danced in celebration. And as it turns out, it was, at best, wishful thinking.

To put the debacle in perspective for those of us overwhelmed by the numbers, here’s Demonetisation Ek Kadwa Sach (above). Set to singer Atif Aslam’s Hum Kis Gali Jaa Rahe Hain, the video breaks down, step-by-step, what was promised and what actually happened.

With 99% of currency notes returned, the question remains – was demonetisation really worth the pain? With Rs 1.28 lakh crores lost, 150 citizens dead and 15 lakh jobs lost, perhaps it is time to reconsider that it might have been a colossal mistake. And yet: “Nahi, nahi, Modiji ne achha kiya,” seems to be the common rhetoric.

Ramit Verma (of Official PeeingHuman), who put the video together with comedian Kunal Kamra, told what prompted them to make this video: “The fact that demonetisation was hailed as the biggest policy decision of modern India, and then there was no follow up from the government’s side on its positive impact. And now that the facts are coming out, we felt obliged to package it all together in a funny manner to reach out to as many people with fact-based information.”

With the video out, Verma now wants to know “the significance of the 2000-rupee note to curb hoarding of cash in future”, and hopes that Modi’s next Mann Ki Baat might give him the answers he seeks.

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Virat Kohli and Ola come together to improve Delhi's air quality

The onus of curbing air-pollution is on citizens as well

A recent study by The Lancet Journal revealed that outdoor pollution was responsible for 6% of the total disease burden in India in 2016. As a thick smog hangs low over Delhi, leaving its residents gasping for air, the pressure is on the government to implement SOS measures to curb the issue as well as introduce long-term measures to improve the air quality of the state. Other major cities like Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata should also acknowledge the gravitas of the situation.

The urgency of the air-pollution crisis in the country’s capital is being reflected on social media as well. A recent tweet by Virat Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, urged his fans to do their bit in helping the city fight pollution. Along with the tweet, Kohli shared a video in which he emphasized that curbing pollution is everyone’s responsibility. Apart from advocating collective effort, Virat Kohli’s tweet also urged people to use buses, metros and Ola share to help reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

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In 2016, WHO disclosed 10 Indian cities that made it on the list of worlds’ most polluted. The situation necessitates us to draw from experiences and best practices around the world to keep a check on air-pollution. For instance, a system of congestion fees which drivers have to pay when entering central urban areas was introduced in Singapore, Oslo and London and has been effective in reducing vehicular-pollution. The concept of “high occupancy vehicle” or car-pool lane, implemented extensively across the US, functions on the principle of moving more people in fewer cars, thereby reducing congestion. The use of public transport to reduce air-pollution is another widely accepted solution resulting in fewer vehicles on the road. Many communities across the world are embracing a culture of sustainable transportation by investing in bike lanes and maintenance of public transport. Even large corporations are doing their bit to reduce vehicular pollution. For instance, as a participant of the Voluntary Traffic Demand Management project in Beijing, Lenovo encourages its employees to adopt green commuting like biking, carpooling or even working from home. 18 companies in Sao Paulo executed a pilot program aimed at reducing congestion by helping people explore options such as staggering their hours, telecommuting or carpooling. After the pilot, drive-alone rates dropped from 45-51% to 27-35%.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that the growth of a country doesn’t compromise the natural environment that sustains it, however, a substantial amount of responsibility also lies on each citizen to lead an environment-friendly lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes such as being cautious about usage of electricity, using public transport, or choosing locally sourced food can help reduce your carbon footprint, the collective impact of which is great for the environment.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Ola and not by the Scroll editorial team.