This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Saurabh Parmar. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

We Need To Come Up With Realistic Ways To Save The Planet!

More from Saurabh Parmar

Editor's note:This post is a part of #PollutionKeSolution, a contest launched by Youth Ki Awaaz on World Environment Day to find innovative and unique solutions to curb air pollution. 10 entries for the contest were shortlisted basis the number of views and upvotes they received, and 3 winners were selected by an expert panel! Check out the entries here!

If you’re a Delhiite and happen to cross ITO area, you’ll see green colored boxes on dividers with WAYU printed on it. Do you know what they are?

Image Credit: essenviro.com

These boxes are Wind Augmentation and Purification Units (WAYU) designed by the  National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in collaboration with IIT Bombay. It converts toxic pollutants like PM2.5 and PM10, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds into carbon dioxide using a filter. It can purify area up to 500 square meters around it.

While It felt so good to see efforts to curb air pollution, I realised to my dismay that, the devices were absent in other areas. Why so? Will those few green boxes be enough to combat the ill maladies of air pollution that afflicts all of us?. This thought immediately forced me to face the grim reality of our times, the era of chronic air pollution which has become a guiding factor of present time syndemic.

At this juncture I want to ask, do we really have the right to celebrate environment day with such enthusiasm when we live in such dystopian climatic crisis?

Reports by Lancet and WHO show that air pollution is causing fatal diseases which are resulting in around 7 million premature deaths in a year. Recently taken Geneva pledge by WHO to eliminate two-thirds of death caused by air pollution by 2030 is a testimony to this.

I would say even nomadic barbarians and dinosaurs were better off than us when it came to dealing with the environment. And the mind-boggling fact is that the answer to such crisis lies in our very own hands. Yet the responses have been far from satisfactory. I won’t repeat the same rhetoric of ‘high-ended’ solutions which are noble to sound but tough to follow. So I am suggesting some feasible solutions that will not only make our task of cleaning air an easy activity but a rewarding process as well.

There are some simple steps we can follow, without even having to make such a big change in our lifestyle, that will let us do our part in saving this planet we call home. More people should start carpooling and reduce vehicular emissions. The government can also reduce commutation fares to incentivize people to turn to public transportation, like the governments in Korea and Norway have done. Vehicle owners should also regularly check the pollution status of their vehicles, this will help reduce fossil fuel usage.

We should look into the environmental consequences of hawans and religious rituals, maybe look for alternatives when we can. All of us should take the initiative to plant more trees. The concept of ‘Kitchen garden’ which has been encouraged even by former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri should be seen as a viable solution. I think it will not only increase green coverage but also help tackle food security. 

We must minimise our use of air conditioners. We have become addicted to these machines and don’t realise that they emit a heavy amount of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). We should also be careful about what appliances we use, and make sure to see the star energy label on them. I also think companies must make corporate environmental responsibility a mandatory task (on the lines of corporate social responsibility)

Another good idea for us to take on would be to create homemade air purifiers from household items. This will be a simple, cheap and environmentally conscious step for us to take. 

It’s high time we pulled ourselves up by the bootstraps and take action to save our planet from the crisis we have ourselves created. I have personally planted over twenty plants in one month & turned to public transportation. We as citizens need to play our part too, because if we don’t do our bit soon enough then,

“Shroud of diseases

will bury us underneath,

If we don’t change

The very air we breath.”

This post was awarded third place in the first ever Youth Ki Awaaz #BolDaal contest, #PollutionKeSolution. With 300+ views and 160+ upvotes, it was shortlisted in the top 10 entries received, and then selected by an expert panel as the second runner up. Congratulations, Saurabh Parmar on championing the change with your Awaaz!

You must be to comment.
  1. Arpana Gautam

    Insightful article.

    1. Saurabh Parmar

      Thanks?

More from Saurabh Parmar

Similar Posts

By Sonam Singh

By Goutham

By Ajay Kumar

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below