Children demand their Right to Breathe Clean Air

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Urged Government to formulate Clean Air Action Plan for Patna

Under the ‘Patna for Healthy Air’ campaign led by CEED, school children in Patna presented a citizen’s demand placard to the Member Secretary of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB). The placard represents demands for a Clean Air Action Plan for the city and has been signed by over 5,000 concerned citizens of Patna. The ‘Patna for Healthy Air’ is a citizen-driven campaign that was kickstarted by CEED last month. Over a span of one month, thousands of Patnaites have lent their support to the campaign through online and offline activities, and have signed a pledge to demand a Clean Air Action Plan for their city.  Owing to the poor air quality in Patna, especially in the past few months, the campaign aimed to aware the masses against the adversaries of air pollution, and the respective precautionary measures that should be taken to mitigate its impact. The campaign also mobilised the people to sign up and demand for a Clean Air Action Plan that would tackle the menace of air pollution in the city on priority basis.

Elaborating the air quality of Patna, Ankita Jyoti, Senior Programme Officer at CEED, said “Air pollution has become a serious threat in Patna. In this month, several days witnessed ‘severe’ air quality levels, when the condition in Patna was the worst in the country. Such days were on 7th (AQI- 421), 12th (392) , 17th (369) and 18th (407) December.” Ms. Jyoti further added, “In the last two months, the  Bihar Government has taken several steps, which can bee seen as an important initiative to clean the air of Patna. However, a holistic solution is required to tackle the issue effectively, for which a Clean Air Action Plan is required. The Clean Air Action Plan is a comprehensive document that shall comprehend strategies for reducing air pollution levels of Patna. It will lay strategies with set timelines to reduce emissions from polluting sources and promote long-term regional sustainability initiatives.”

Talking about the importance of the campaign, Ms. Sheen Saquib Khan, Director, S. Raza High School, said “My active participation in CEED’s campaign helped me to understand the city’s growing levels of air pollution and the severe impacts it has on our well-being. Unfortunately, Patna has been put on the global map for being one of the most polluted cities in the world. However, there aren’t many initiatives being taken to tackle the issue, as they are in Delhi. I hope and expect our government to take concrete steps in this regard to ensure us a healthy life.”

With such severe levels of air pollution, the lives of million of Patnaites is at stake. An ultimate win to combat air pollution can only be achieved through  a water-tight action plan. Through its campaign, CEED has urged the Bihar Government to immediately formulate a concrete roadmap to reduce the emissions from polluting sources, and has also shown the willingness to support government in the fight against air pollution.