Air quality in various cities in India has been deteriorating since a few weeks now and with the festive season going on, bursting of crackers is adding to air pollution woes.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change have come up with an option to make this year’s Diwali lung-friendly through augmented reality (AR) crackers under the campaign, E-PATAAKHE – ISS DIWALI, KHULKE PHODO E -PATAAKHE! (This Diwali, burst e–crackers to your heart’s content!)
The campaign allows the bursting of vivid traditional e-crackers with family and friends through augmented reality. The digital crackers allow communities to carry on beloved traditions without any adverse impact on air quality, be it celebrating Diwali, Christmas, weddings or even cricket victories. The e-crackers also help spread awareness of the importance of beating air pollution.
The AR filters are hosted on the UN in India’s Instagram and Facebook pages under the effects tab, and on the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change website to enable easy and universal access. This campaign has been specially created by Ogilvy for UNEP India.
Air pollution killed more than 16 lakh people in India last year, according to the State of Global Air 2020. This year, the risk of ill-health is multiplied as we are reeling under the COVID pandemic.
Head of UNEP’s India Office, Shri Atul Bagai said, “The airpocalypse in Delhi is a complex interplay of anthropogenic actions and meteorological conditions. We have documented statistics from Diwali 2019 that are worrying – the ambient concentration of several pollutants were significantly higher than WHO standards. This campaign, therefore, is timely and imperative for raising awareness. I am optimistic that this unique initiative for encouraging virtual celebrations will further increase momentum for the pursuit of pollution-free festivities.”
United Nations India Resident Coordinator, Renata Dessallien said; “During the lockdown, we have observed that by regulating human actions, there has been a demonstrable cleansing effect on air quality. This campaign is a unique opportunity for us to continue to maintain this better air quality as we open up the economy. This creative initiative combining tradition with sustainability will go a long way in ensuring cleaner air – and our greener future”