New Delhi: According to a WHO report, every day around 93% of the world’s children (under 15 years of age) breathe air that is so polluted it puts their health and development at serious risk. Children are the least responsible for polluting the air but the most vulnerable to air pollution. Stressing on the need to recognise the connection between air pollution and the impact it has on children’s health, Actor & UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Dia Mirza, and Actor, Adil Hussain took to social media to voice their support.
India reported the highest annual average PM2.5 exposure in the world in 2019. This toxic air affects the growth and development of children and has a lifelong impact on their physical and mental health. Concerned and looking to explore sustainable solutions, youth champions and climate advocates across Odisha, Maharashtra, Kolkata and Uttar Pradesh have been sharing their stories and ground reports across social media and platforms like LetMeBreathe – India’s largest community platform on climate change, pollution and sustainability stories – in an appeal to the public to be #HawaKeRakshak.
Meet our #HawaKeRakshak: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqfRF23IlAE&t=8s&ab_channel=HawaKeRakshak
Trained by People Powered Digital Narratives (PPDN), these children have been learning about climate change, the role of storytelling and cinema, and how it can help create more awareness about this urgent issue. Through their stories, they continue to engage actors, environment activists, doctors, medical students and others across sectors, and will be releasing a short fiction film directed by them – Near Future – to commemorate the upcoming second edition of the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, on September 7.
Watch the film trailer: https://twitter.com/LetMeBreathe_In/status/1434908164424540163
Continuing the conversation on World Clean Air Day, Award winning Actor & Producer Adil Hussain will be hosting a children’s roundtable, live on LetMeBreathe at 6PM IST on September 7. The youth advocates in attendance will discuss themes like air pollution levels during the pandemic, need for improved air quality across India, need for policy change to combat climate change and solutions to ensure better human and planetary health.
It’s time to listen to the children.
More about People Powered Digital Narratives (PPDN)
PPDN is a collaborative effort to help adolescents learn about issues including Girl Capital (Education and Employability), Air Quality, Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights and express their opinion using innovative storytelling and social media. PPDN is creating online spaces that will help adolescents develop into active citizens. The aim is to equip them to talk about and influence the issues that affect them, making a positive difference in and beyond their communities.
It is currently active in the peri urban and rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand. Her Akshar, Hawa Ke Rakshak and Ankaheen Baatein are online communities under this initiative, which is supported by Praxis UK and its partners.