'Engine off': Delhi's desperate pollution plea

Shrouded in smog, for many in New Delhi it's difficult to catch your breath. This is a crisis that just won't go away.

"My legs are in pain and my eyes burn. My whole body is in pain as we stand from 8 till 2 in pollution."

So 22-year-old Rihana Saif is one of more than 2,000 people in the city's Civil Defense force that have been desperately deployed for a program called "red light on, vehicle off."

Saif is out in the street to raise awareness to motorists: If you're at a red light, turn off your engine.

New Delhi has been facing one of its worst spells of air pollution in years - with pollution in some areas of the capital more than eight times the World Health Organization's permitted limit.

The plan was introduced last month but this week it was extended until the end of November.

But not everyone agrees with it. And some health experts are worried for the young workers like Saif.

Doctor Arvind Kumar is with the Sir Ganga Ram hospital there:

"These volunteers who are standing on the various crossings, I see most of them are late teenagers, some of them may be in early twenties. Most of them are actually teenagers. And they are all standing at the busiest of crossings which obviously is exposing them to much higher toxin levels than an average citizen will breathe because they are standing in the middle of dense traffic."

Meanwhile, the smog shows little sign of letting up.

Saturday's Diwali festival is also likely to lead to a further surge in pollution, as residents are expected to set off huge amounts of fireworks.

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