A Student Speaks: The Time To Combat Air Pollution Is Now. Here’s How

WhyOnEarth logo mobEditor’s Note: Are you bothered by the drastic changes in our climate, causing extreme weather events and calamities such as the Kerala Floods? #WhyOnEarth aims to take the truth to the people with stories, experiences, opinions and revelations about the climate change reality that you should know, and act on. Have a story to share? Click here and publish.
For representation only.

I am a class 10th student from Springdales School in Dhaula Kuan, New Delhi. Climate change is an issue very close to my heart, something I feel so passionately about. Just because we are young doesn’t mean teenagers are incapable of creating change. For someone who never ceases to be amazed by science, I am aware of the challenges environment faces and so, I want to do my bit by innovating and then educating people about the importance of action against air pollution. I also want to work towards sustainable development goals and serve my country through my little actions and initiatives.

Bad air quality in Delhi-NCR has left children gasping for breath. Hospitals have been reporting a surge in respiratory cases. Delhi’s air quality has turned from bad to worse. Disturbed by these daily headlines, I discussed my concerns with my parents. I was taken aback when my father revealed that the incidence of respiratory patients has increased multifold over the last 20 years of his pediatric practice.

On top of it all, a study has revealed that a third of schoolchildren in four big cities of India suffer from reduced lung capacity, with Delhi showing the worst results, and this can be attributed to poor air quality. It set me thinking, something had to be done. Not just by the government, but by us. We have to identify strategies to deal with it, after all, it is about our health.

Dr. Jyoti Bose, the Director of Springdales schools encouraged and mentored me in my scientific endeavour to measure the vital capacities of middle school children with the hypothesis that playing sports and developing hobbies like singing could improve the vital capacity. A group of 60 healthy students, 13-14 years of age, with an equal number of athletes, singers, and non-athletes and non-singers were assessed with the help of a ‘students’ spirometer’. Vital capacities of both athletes and singers were found to be significantly higher than that of non-athletes non-singers with the performance of athletes being even better than singers.

It is crucial to comprehend that children are most susceptible to the harmful effects of air pollution because they spend more time outdoors, especially during the middle of the day when air pollution levels are higher. They demand significantly higher oxygen levels, and because of their small stature, their breathing zone is closer to the ground where the most polluted air is.

Air pollution around schools is linked to poor student health and academic performance. Realising the importance of tackling this pertinent problem—this is my attempt to find a solution. Opting for a healthy lifestyle and exercises may help tackle the menace of air pollution. Our PM Narendra Modi had also emphasised the importance of sports, yoga and hobby classes. Our health is in our hands.

Featured Image For Representation Only.
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images.
Similar Posts

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