Campaign to check vehicular pollution near Delhi-NCR schools
New Delhi: As Delhi fights pollution, a campaign seeks to make people aware about the harmful effects of keeping vehicles on ignition mode and encourage them to switch these off while waiting in and around schools.
'No Idling' campaign by the Lung Care Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, aims at reducing air pollution around schools in Delhi-NCR and is likely to be launched this week.
The campaign is a part of the mandate of B.E.S.T. (Breathe Easy Stay Tough) Club school initiative and will target parents, drivers and others who idle their vehicles outside schools with engine on, said Abhishek Kumar, CEO of the Lung Care Foundation.
The duration of idling varies between 10-20 minutes and children are exposed to high levels of pollution right outside the school and in transit, Kumar said.
"Children are most susceptible to sudden spikes in the air pollution levels, which is over and above the high air pollution conditions that prevail in our city most parts of the year.
"When exposed to such spikes, children show temporary symptoms of phlegm and coughing, itchy eyes, headaches, allergy and sneezing. Prolonged exposure to such pollution spikes can lead to children developing asthma, bronchitis, poor mental and physical development," said Dr Arvind Kumar, chest surgeon and founder trustee of Lung Care Foundation.
The campaign will kick start with the first visual reach outbeing organised by B.E.S.T. Club of Bal Bharati Public School in Noida covering their own school and four other schools in their vicinity, said Matrushri P Shetty, director (programs & strategy) at the Lung Care Foundation.
Children volunteers will be roped in to form a human chain outside the pick-up and drop points of these schools along with a couple of major crossings around the area and give out key messages to parents, drivers and others to engage in responsible use of private vehicles. They will also promote use of school buses instead of own vehicles for commuting to school.