It is that time of the year again!

The blooming flowers announce an end to the winter season and the city is coloured in reds, yellows and all the hues in the rainbow. Spring is here, though rather hotter than yester years this time around, yet casting a joyous mood in the air. Spring, for many, is the celebratory season. The flowers and greenery all lights up our world. Still, for an almost equal number of citizens, the season brings with it misery. The arrival of spring brings with it the dreaded allergies, the biggest culprit being the paper mulberry trees.

While many welcome the season by making sure their gardens are masterpieces, full of the most wonderful flowers and plants, others have completely different preparations to make. Out come the anti-histamines, face masks and inhalers. For many whose allergies reach very serious levels, it is a time to pack up and leave. They would spend these two months in some other part of the country, and return home when they no longer run the risk of getting killed by their own city. A few casualties occur every year, even with all the steps taken to avoid the deaths. For all its beauty and colour, spring turns the capital city into a killer.

Every year we hear about the efforts being made to cut down the dreaded paper mulberry trees and replace them with new ones. So far, not much headway has been made. The number of patients is on the increase with each passing year. A dangerous trend, that is making at least a few sufferers think about packing up and leaving for good.

There are special medical camps during the season to provide awareness and medicines. Most hospitals take good measures to ensure that they have the adequate training and drugs to treat a patient in an emergency, at all times. Yet substantive steps need to be taken to eradicate the problem. There is a need to control and gradually remove the cause. While we all know that the paper mulberry trees in our city are in huge numbers, and cutting them all would be counter-productive to the environment. Yet we have to think about the misery and pain that patients of allergies experience due to them. The CDA needs to work out a plan where other rapidly-growing trees can replace the paper mulberry ones. And apart from the planning, do something about it too. Action needs to be taken quickly and effectively, so that the next spring may be a bit better in this regard. Or the one in the year after that. The point is, with such a huge portion of the population suffering from this menace, immediate action should be taken.

Where not much has been done up till now, maybe now is the perfect time to kick start work on this front. There wouldn’t be a more appropriate time. The yearly epidemic of sneezing, itchy eyes, hay fever, cough and asthma is all back to hit the town. The question is: will somebody do something concrete about it this time?


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