To address the alarming air pollution in the capital, city's youngsters have taken it upon themselves and organized '#Breathe' – a 12 day clean air campaign in New Delhi on the occasion of Earth Day, observed on April 22. The campaign is the brainchild of Aadyaa Singhania, a 17 year young passionate student who is an environmentalist in spirit. Aadyaa with her friends started this campaign on April 10 at Moti Bagh Crossing and will carry it on till Earth Day.
The drive will also be simultaneously replicated at ITO crossing till April 22. They are also asking commuters to share their ideas to prevent air pollution, on the FB Page #Breathe. Later, these youngsters will help in fund raising and implementation of the best ideas.
The young enthusiasts are distributing anti-pollution masks and spreading information on basic steps which one generally overlooks but can play a vital role to check alarming levels of air pollution in the city. Simple things such as switching off engines at signals, getting vehicles serviced at regular periods, using recommended grade of lubricants, planning routes prior starting for some place, maintaining adequate air pressure in tyres, avoid extra loading, carpooling, preferring public transport, etc. will be cultivated among commuters.
Aadyaa is also reaching out to a number of schools to enlist volunteers amongst students. She has successfully organised awareness sessions on environment conservation at Sadhu Vaswani School, Blue Bells International and Mount Carmel in the city. Students of these schools will also take part in the campaign on Earth Day at Moti Bagh Crossing.
Health issues involving asthmatic attacks since her childhood days made Aadyaa aware of the need of clean air quality which was a prime reason for the suffering of many kids. Amidst all this, Aadya became a passionate environmentalist and because of her concern for the environment and desire to make a difference, she pursued a certificate course in "Introduction to Environmental Sciences." Her stints in the field of environment conservation include her association with TERI, her work with Professor Rajam, Delhi University, to find a bacteria that consumes lead, a constituent of air pollution in Delhi as well as algae that is more efficient in conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen and her work with Ricardo India Pvt. Ltd., a Renewable Energy and Environment Expert amongst many others.
Aadya's trips from UK to Delhi in the past few years highlighted the stark contrast in the environmental conditions, especially Air pollution in London and Delhi. Moved to make a change, Aadyaa first studied the similarities and the evolution of both the cities and has now taken upon herself to create awareness as well initiate doable projects. In her attempt to make a difference at the policy level, she has researched and written a paper on the inclusion of pollution as a subject in the curriculum.
She has also tried to highlight how pollution is taught to the school children in the US and UK under the Fulbright Scholarship Institute vis-a-vis NCERT. She is determined to pursue her interest and continues to contribute in raising awareness amongst the youth and finding big and small solutions for improving air quality in our city and securing a healthy future for generations to come.
Giving her perspective about her present campaign #Breathe, Aadyaa Singhania noted that everybody in India feels that somebody else should take care of pollution problem and very easily passes on the blame to the government. It is certainly the responsibility of every individual towards the environment. We are the ones that are contributing to deteriorating of the environment. While we have been progressing as a human race, we have been doing it at the cost of the environment. It is time that we payback our longstanding debt to the environment. We can start by keeping the environment green by planting trees and bio composting, by watching ourselves and making sure we don't contribute negatively to the air quality such as by being more mindful in the choices we make in our day to day life for example- switching to better quality fuel, reducing DG sets, making sure our cars meet the emission norms etc.
Speaking about the Clean Air Campaign #Breathe that she is currently driving in the capital, she added, "I intend to extend this program on a larger scale to many more crossings across the city. I'm reaching out to a number of schools to enlist volunteers amongst children like me who can influence their parents in a positive manner. After all it is our future that we are trying to protect."