05 Sep 2020
International Clean Air Day: Let Me Breathe’s Clean Air Action Plan
Let Me Breathe has partnered with UN Environment Programme and Climate & Clean Air Coalition to bring you stories of #CleanAirBharat. Here are the events and stories you wouldn't want to miss out on

Pollution is the greatest risk to human life that kills millions of people every year around the world and more so in India than in any other country.

In India, a quarter of India’s population is exposed to pollution levels not seen in any other country, according to data released by air quality life index (AQLI). An average Indian’s life is cut short by more than five years, relative to what it would be if the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline was met, the data showed.

But, the COVID-19 lockdowns have given people a glimpse of a clean air future. September 7 will see the first-ever ‘International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies.’

Let Me Breathe has partnered with UN Environment Programme and Climate & Clean Air Coalition to bring you stories of #CleanAirBharat.

Here are the events you wouldn’t want to miss out on:

Discussion spaces bringing voices on clean air and climate change :

1. City Sessions: Keeping Blue Skies in Agra

Let Me Breathe will host its 8th city session with Twitter India on September 7th, 2020 (3 pm) with the aim of finding clean air solutions in Agra.

Previously held in Gurugram, Chennai, Nagpur, Mumbai, Varanasi, Gangtok, and New Delhi, the City Sessions are aimed at building a talking space between decision-makers, citizens and young people that are focused on climate change in their city. 

Agra, the city of Taj Mahal has a massive pollution problem. What are the steps being taken to curb it and how can we collectively fight it further? Find out in this City Session with decision-makers and experts with the goal to achieve #CleanAirForAll

The session will be moderated by Shamita Harsh, Digital Producer at Pluc. Panelists include Mr. Nikhil Tikaram Funde, Municipal Commissioner, Nagar Nigam Agra; Dr. Pratima Singh, Research Scientist, Lead Air Pollution at CSTEP; Mr. Chandra Bhushan, President & CEO iFOREST and Mr. Manish Mittal, District Forest Officer, Agra.

2. Town Hall: Collective action to clear up Chennai’s air

Harmful air quality has often highlighted Chennai’s air pollution problem. This International Day of Clean Air for blue skies,  Let Me Breathe along with UN Environment Programme India, Doctors for Clean Air and Chennai Climate Action Group is hosting a Town Hall discussion with elected city representatives, experts, and concerned students on September 7th (5 pm).

It will focus towards achieving clean air and better health for Chennai, ultimately aiming for a #CleanAirBharat.

The panel will be moderated by Archanaa Seker, Researcher & Writer. The panelists for the event include Dr. Kalanidhi Veeraswamy, MP Chennai North (DMK); Dr. Thamizhachi Thangapandian, MP Chennai South (DMK); Dr R Natraj, MLA, Mylapore (AIADMK); Thiru Varun Subramaniam, (Environment Wing from Naam Tamilar Katchi); Thiru Vaniyarasu (Deputy General Secretary from Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi); Dr Vishvaja Sambath (Chennai Climate Action Group); Dr Hisamuddin Papa (Doctors for Clean Air) and Thiru R. Srinivasan (Kabaddi Coach, North Chennai).

3. Conversations with Clean Air Champions in India

Air pollution is preventable, but we need everyone on board–from individuals to organisations.

Let Me Breathe is bringing a variety of clean air champions from startup founders to young activists and UN Environment Programme ambassadors/patrons to have a conversation on clean air solutions for India, on Clean Air For Blue Skies Day on September 7th (7 pm).

The panel will be led and moderated by Ms. Dia Mirza, Actor, Producer, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador & United Nations Secretary-General Advocate for Sustainable Development Goals. The panelists for the event include Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma (Founder Paytm & Patron, Clean Air with UNEP); Ms. Archana Soreng (Young Activist & Member United Nations Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change); Mr. Anirudh Sharma (Founder – Graviky Labs) and Mr. Tamseel Hussain (Founder of letmebreathe.in)

4. Building a Future with Clean Air for our children

No parents want a toxic and unhealthy environment for their children. They want a future where the children can play outdoors and breathe clean air.

For this event, mothers from different parts of India will join us on September 8th (5 pm) to discuss clean air solutions that will help our present and future generations.

The panel will be moderated by Ruchita Dar Shah – CEO & Founder – First Moms Club. The panelists include Ekta Shekhar (Member – Warrior Moms); Bhavreen Kandhari (Member – Warrior Moms); Dr. Nimmi Rastogi (Advisor Health – Dialogue & Development Commission) and Anuja Bali (Member – Warrior Mom).

Visual clean air day stories that give us a glimpse into possible solutions:

1. Project Surya: A woman-centric approach to clean air

How can 3 billion people living in underdeveloped nations breathe cleaner air? Project Surya investigates reliable and sustainable cooking stoves to bring a social intervention that can give women the clean cooking solution they need. Here is how it works.

Deep dive into the stories on clean air and its solutions:

1. A Lawyer’s Guide to Air Pollution Prevention

This article is an attempt to explore how sufficiently the Indian legal framework has dealt with the issue through an analysis of statutes, cases and articles. 

2. How much does the National Capital prioritize clean air and blue skies?

Inhaling clean air throughout our lives will always be one of the most fundamental necessities for human beings. Even the Constitution of India holds Right to Breathe Clean Air as a part of Right to Life under Article 21. Despite the fact that the country’s citizens are ensured to enjoy an unadulterated air PAN India by the national rulebook itself, the public of its capital city severely suffers from a heavy violation of this essential right.

3. How can citizens help reduce air pollution post-COVID lockdown

India is subjected to poor air quality and atmospheric pollution, mainly due to emissions from vehicles, industry, brick kilns, coal-based power plants, and crop residue burning. As we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, there is an opportunity to set ourselves on the path towards addressing the issue of air pollution. If we really seek solutions then, we must take some steps for a better environment.

(What you are doing to #ClearTheAir in your city? Share your #CleanAirBharat stories with Let Me Breathe by using the ‘Airpocalypse’ filter or submit your story here.)

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