The children of the city have pledged to fight the perils of Air Pollution at the Launch of B.E.S.T. (Breathe Easy Stay Tough) Club. An initiative by Lung Care Foundation in association with Raisoni Group of Institutions, Nagpur. The program aims to raise awareness on the Health Impact of Air Pollution and Asthma Preparedness in Schools. The program is being launched with 26 schools of schools of Nagpur including both C.B.S.E. and state board schools.
Speaking on the occasion of the launch of B.E.S.T. Clubs in the city of Nagpur, Dr. Mrinalini Naik, Project Head, Raisoni Group of Institutions, said that "The only thing that is free after birth is the air that we breathe, what if we are required to pay for it too in the hospitals. And what about the generations to come. Cleaning it now will be a better option than to wait for things to get worse. Like precaution is better than cure."
Leading this cause of clean air and healthy lungs, Mrs. Rucha Ghotkar, Principal of G.H. Raisoni Junior College, said that “Air Pollution & its Health Impacts are a global problem today. I am happy today that G.H. Raisoni Foundation has joined hands with Lung Care Foundation for this important initiative. Students being young leaders will educate the society at large and this will start a movement for Clean Air & Lung Health in Nagpur”
Vaishali Sholke & Poonam Pande, Teacher Mentors of Ira International School, Butibori, Nagpur who came to attend the workshop expressed their views – “Every individual is aware of the causes, factors, some dos and don'ts about air pollution but it important that we implement this information. We should bring all do's and don'ts to practice to prevention further damage.”
“The concept of Clean Air & good health can be aptly spread in the society by young environment ambassadors. Our school has been awarded the title of Green School by the Govt. of Maharashtra. Today with the launch of B.E.S.T. Club in our school, we have added another feather to our cap.” – said Jayashri S. Bhake, Director Principal, G. H. Raisoni Vidyaniketan (CBSE) & Raisoni's Wonderkids at the launch event.
“Everyone has to contribute if we are to bring a major change. B.E.S.T. Club will surely pave a pathway in fighting the rising menace of Air Pollution. Creating awareness & taking steps is the need of the hour and help our children Breathe Easy, Stay Tough” – said the Principal of GH Raisoni Vidyaniketan, Ambajheri, Mrs. Sheela J. Pillai.
“Children have tremendous potential to influence the behaviour of their parents and other community members. Their views are respected when they raise their voices for a cause that affects their own health and the health of others. B.E.S.T. Clubs aims to empower
students to gain knowledge and work towards cleaner air and healthy lungs.” Said Matrushri Shetty, Director – Programs & Strategy, while interacting with the participants.
Noted Management & Career Guru, also the Founder Trustee of Lung Care Foundation, Rajiv Khurana said “When the situation all around is turning from bad to worse, no half-hearted attempts can create any meaningful impact. Only the best efforts from citizens done collectively can bring results. B.E.S.T. Clubs is a way forward to bring about best in people through the future leaders of the society, the students of Nagpur. As elders, we have failed our next generation. As students we need to take charge and start reversing the dangers to our health through Air Pollution and Dust. An ignited mind can ignite thousands of others. Each member of the BEST club is expected to put his best foot forward.”
As per the 2016 data of WHO, six cities of Maharashtra were featured as the most polluted cities in India out of which Nagpur city was highlighted the most polluted in the state and is also ranked 24th globally. There is one continuous air monitoring station (CAMS) in Nagpur and 7 manual stations report data on PM10, SO2, and NO2.
Air quality data from URBAN emissions shows the major sources contributing to air pollution in Nagpur city are industrial emissions along with emissions from transport, brick kilns, open waste burning, dust and residential emissions. According to a study conducted by Energy Policy Institute at University of Chicago (EPIC), in spite of a smaller population size, the air in Nagpur is more toxic than cities like Pune and Mumbai. If the particulate matter (PM) is reduced by 25%, it will bring down PM 2.5 level to 33 mpcm adding 1.1 years to the lives of citizens. Nagpur is also among the 102 non-attainment cities that are a part of the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) and needs effective intervention from the government and citizens to tackle this problem. Hence this initiative to involve children as ambassadors of change.
B.E.S.T. (Breathe Easy Stay Tough) Club is a student driven program with inputs from educators as mentors, Doctors and local communities, launch in 2018 with 25 schools of Delhi NCR. The technical and operational support is be provided by Lung Care Foundation for sustained efforts towards better Lung Health and initiating awareness & amplification of action for fighting Air Pollution and Climate Change.
The B.E.S.T. Clubs are presently running successfully in Delhi & Kanpur, educating the masses the masses on simple steps that can be taken towards clean air and better lung health.
For more info about B.E.S.T. Clubs visit www.lcf.org.in/bestclub/
For more information about Lung Care Foundation visit www.lcf.org.in