Pune’s ‘Warrior Moms’ Champion Clean Air Cause

Pune’s ‘Warrior Moms’ Champion Clean Air Cause

Pune’s ‘Warrior Moms’ Champion Clean Air Cause

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The air we breathe shapes our well-being, and unfortunately, India grapples with a formidable air pollution crisis. According to the World Air Quality Report, a staggering 83 out of the 100 most polluted cities globally are right here in India. This alarming reality has spurred a group of passionate mothers into action.

The Warrior Moms India, “Mothers for Clean Air”, a collective of mother’s fiercely combating air pollution in Indian cities has launched the Swachh Hawa Chunav (Clean Air Elections Campaign. Their mission? To thrust clean air into the spotlight during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The moms want ambitious new clean air laws that include a binding commitment to meet World Health Organization guideline levels for particulate matter pollution by 2030. They want to protect children’s health by tackling air pollution effectively. They firmly believe that every citizen deserves the right to inhale fresh, unpolluted air, and they’re unwavering in their commitment to hold political leaders accountable for environmental health. Their campaign sends a powerful message: environmental well-being is non-negotiable, and air pollution constitutes a public health crisis.

Swachh Hawa Chunav (Clean Air Elections) is an innovative campaign which invites all citizens who care about their environment and clean air to participate. The call to action is simple: give a missed call to the campaign number: +91 89293 02665. Each missed call symbolizes an endorsement of clean air as a top-priority issue in the upcoming elections. The brilliance lies in its inclusivity—it bridges the digital divide, reaching both urban and rural voters.

The campaign doesn’t stop at missed calls. It also focuses on electoral candidate pledges. When the candidates pledge to prioritize clean air, they commit to specific actions if elected. By publicly declaring their commitment to address air quality, candidates become accountable to voters. The Voters can evaluate candidates based on their stance on clean air policies.

In a significant move for environmental health, the ‘Warrior Moms’ group Pune has garnered a pledge from Indian National Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar and Sainik Samaj Party’s Col Suresh Patil (Retd) , promising to prioritize clean air initiatives. This pledge marks a pivotal moment in the #CleanAirElections campaign, setting a precedent for political commitment to sustainability. The acceptance by the candidates is a commendable step which ensures willingness to convert intent into action if selected as Member of Parliament. The members are not stopping there; they are already in discussions with other Pune Lok Sabha candidates Murlidhar Mohol (BJP), and Vasant More (VBA) to bring them on board. For Warrior Moms Pune to get a unified commitment to improving air quality is of utmost importance.

The Demands:

§   Urgent action to protect children’s health by tackling dirty air where they live, learn, and play. 

§   Expanding renewable energy  

§   Promoting and enhancing public transport and providing practical help and support for people and businesses to move on to cleaner forms of transport.  

§   Introducing Clean Air Zones/Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in the most polluted towns and cities to tackle the high levels of emissions from road transport especially outside schools and hospitals.   

§   Supply subsidised clean cooking fuel, also ensuring Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala    Yojana to reach every under privileged household. 

§   Preparing city-specific clean air action plans (CAPs). 

§   Implementing CAPs by Urban Local Bodies in letter and spirit. 

§   Targeting specific air polluting sources like soil and road dust, vehicles, domestic fuel, MSW burning, construction material, and industries. 

§   Protecting the existing trees and biodiversity. 

§   Updating and adopting ambitious new clean air laws.

The mothers advocate for clean air, express their worries and concerns about the deteriorating Air Quality Index (AQI) in Pune. Over the past seven years, the air quality in Pune has significantly deteriorated. The main culprits are particulate pollutants, specifically PM2.5 and PM10. Road dust and vehicular pollution is a major cause of concern. Their commitment to safeguarding children’s futures is driven by the rising incidence of diseases attributed to air pollution and other environmental factors. In addition to advocating for clean air, the group is highlighting other vital environmental issues. Their focus includes securing affordable and accessible LPG for all, reversing the decline in tree cover, enhancing waste management practices, curbing the practice of waste burning, and improving Pune’s infrastructure. A recent survey conducted by the group in Pune, with mothers from various socio-economic backgrounds participating, brought these pressing concerns to the forefront.

As the election season unfolds, missed calls and candidate pledges become potent tools for driving change. Mothers for Clean Air emphasizes that clean air isn’t just an environmental concern—it’s a fundamental right. In this relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier environment, their message is clear: clean air is not just a policy point, it’s a promise to our children and our future.

Visit http://tinyurl.com/yc2fhmb2

Missed Call Campaign No: +91 89293 02665

“Air pollution crisis is not just about statistics, it’s literally the air we breathe every day. We are gasping for clean air. It is not just an environmental issue, it is a health crisis, an economic burden, and a moral challenge. Environment and clean air have never really been a top priority in our politics, but it’s time to change that. We need actionable policies, effective implementation, and a comprehensive mechanism to govern air quality management at the city level. The National Clean Air Program’s goal of reducing average particulate matter concentrations by 40% by 2026 in 131 cities is extremely important. Whoever ends up getting elected really needs to take the implementation of these clean air plans seriously without pushing things back or finding excuses. We cannot keep pushing the deadline back; our cities need to start getting cleaner air as soon as possible. Each city needs to implement its clean air action plan without any excuses. Urban local bodies are responsible for making sure the plans are followed through without fail. Our kids deserve clean air, so let’s get these plans rolling already! Fighting for clean air is fighting for our future, and it’s a fight we can’t afford to lose,” shared Hema Chari. 

“The air our children breathe is laced with chemicals and dust. It’s a sight that pains me—seeing our young ones and the elderly masked up, even outdoors. The rapid urban construction in cities and the decline of green spaces are alarming. In Pune, for instance, spaces earmarked for parks and gardens in many areas are left undeveloped.  We are not even able to restore Pune’s green cover. The dust problem on Pune’s roads is a significant concern, particularly due to the surge in construction activities.  It’s a clear sign of our misplaced priorities. Honestly, the intent behind NCAP (National Clean Air Programme) was promising, but the implementation has been lacklustre. We’re still seeing PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels breaching the Central Pollution Control Board’s standards in many cities. It’s disheartening.” stated Vandana Chaudhary. 

“We don’t drink dirty water, so why do we tolerate dirty air and remain oblivious to its effects? Pune’s AQI ranges from 110 to 150, with PM2.5 levels exceeding WHO’s recommended limit by 2.5 times. Yet, there’s a deafening silence from politicians and the government. While air pollution affects everyone, children are particularly vulnerable because their organs and immune systems are still developing. It causes low birth weight, asthma, reduced lung function, respiratory infections and allergies in children, as well as increased risks of adult chronic diseases.“, informed Vijaya Suratkal. 

“So smoking is hazardous to health and inhaling it is as bad as smoking, our kids are growing with air which is as hazardous as smoking. We are at a high risk of chronic diseases. Why are our politicians and government still numb about degrading air quality which we are breathing? It’s our basic right, same as our right towards getting clean drinking water. Demanding Clean Air is very important in the current scenario of climate change. Ultimately clean air leads towards a green environment and a happy and healthy life.” said Meghna Bhandari.