Train For Clean Air Yourh

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified climate change as one of the greatest health threats of the 21st century, and air pollution as the single largest environmental health risk. Poor air quality is a serious issue that effects the health of millions of people in India, particularly vulnerable groups such as young children, the elderly and those with existing respiratory conditions Presently, we deal with a range of challenges such as use of outdated technology in industries, poor fuel quality, lack of adequate monitoring systems etc impacting the quality of air.

The need of the hour is to take immediate action to combat air pollution by using clean fuel, developing efficient monitoring systems, developing air action plans, building awareness to bring about behavioural changes, and developing technical and research knowledge database to address air pollution.

Clean Air Asia (CAA) has been extensively engaged in India with a focus on policy research, capacity building, education and outreach and communication for better air quality. As part of public engagement for clean air action, CAA India works with children and youth to engage in fuelling air action by creating a network based on a strong health narrative who works for better air quality through campaigns, surveys, and solutions in multiple cities in India. Through active youth engagements, CAA also intends to promote ideation on innovative solutions to improve air quality.

To this end, CAA introduced Train for Clean Air: Youth Workshop for Ideas, Impact and Innovation, on 26th September, 2019 at India International Centre, New Delhi with the objectives to enhance the understanding of the health impacts of poor air quality especially within vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and engage them in contributing towards advancing better air quality. The event was aimed at: i) Generating interest amongst youth for engaging in clean air action ii) Motivating youth to ideate on innovations and solutions for addressing air pollution iii) Sensitising youth on the avenues for engagement and mainstreaming clean air action.

This event stimulated youth engagement in clean air action by initiating the process of identifying ‘City Monitors’ for mainstreaming clean air action. This was be a unique platform for the youth to learn, ideate and contribute towards the larger goal of mitigating air pollution.

The workshop was participated by 40 youths from different cities of India like Delhi, Agra, Nagpur and Dehradun. The event was started with the welcome note from Ms. Prarthana Borah, Clean Air Asia’s India Director who discussed about the emerging problem of air pollution and how innovative ideation could help in tackling air pollution and improve air quality in our city.

Ms Prerna Sharma, Education and Outreach Coordinator at CAA India explained YCAN (Youth for Clean Air Network) program of CAA, which is a platform for engaging young people in finding solutions for better air quality in Indian Cities. YCAN is involved in creating awareness on air quality issues through diverse methodologies as well as finding local and innovative solutions to meet the challenge of air pollution.

Ms Riya Rahiman, India Program Manager, Clean Air Asia India set the context and introduced theconcept of “Monitors for Clean Air Cities”, in which Clean Air Asia invites enthusiastic and passionate youth who can monitor their city and would help the Govt. and CAA in implementing the Air action plans. The person selected for the position will have an impact on the change first hand by being involved with the responsible organisations and monitoring the implementation of air action plans at city levels. The monitors will be responsible for creating reports and providing data to CAA and help in bettering the air quality of the city.

Launch of the Website The School and Children dedicated website “Clean Air Healthy Children” www.cleanairhealthychildren.comof CAA was launched by Dr. B.C. Sabata, Sr. Scientific Officer, Department of Environment, Govt. of NCT of Delhi. It is an informational platform for sensitization of children, parents and teachers on minimizing hazardous exposure to air pollution. The website also showcases Clean Air Asia’s work on air quality assessments in schools, sources of air pollution, related impacts and assisting schools in providing clean air spaces for children. We are presently assessing the PM2.5 levels in outdoor spaces in schools in 3 cities across India and intend to co-relate this with health exposure. We plan to continue our engagement on clean air for schools for better health of children.

Youth Dialogue- Action of Air Pollution: Role of Youth
Ms. Riya moderated the panel discussion with renounced panellists who spoke the role of youth and action that is the need of the hour for the betterment of our city. A panel discussion was designed to provide an opportunity for the group to hear several people knowledgeable about the role of youth and action that is the need of the hour for the betterment of our city. The panellists briefly talked about the topics like Risk communication and interventions to reduce exposure and minimize health, Action through youth networks, Technological solutions, Role of social media and engaging youth for action.

Innovation Ideation towards solutions to Air Pollution
The youth groups were engaged in group activity focused on innovative solutions towards solving the major problem of the pollution in their cities. All the groups worked together for 45 minutes and then presented their solutions. All the teams performed very well and out of all the groups, Ved Shakti was awarded as the winner.

The event was concluded with the remarks and thanking note of Ms. Riya Rahiman, and requesting the participants to proactively become the members of YCAN and take the problem at hand seriously.


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