Chandigarh (The Hawk): Department of Environment Studies, Panjab University and Department of Community Medicine & School of Public Health, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, along with Chandigarh Pollution Control Committee (CPCC), Health Care Without Harm and Environment Ministry conducted a mega public awareness campaign in 51st Rose Festival in Chandigarh during 17th - 19th February 2023. The campaign theme was ‘LiFE for Clean Air’, emphasizing lifestyle modification for the environment for the blue sky.
The campaign included a skit on plastic pollution, cross the hurdle, word scramble, puzzles and plays related to the environment to engage the young children. There were various selfie points inviting people to be brand ambassadors of clean air, cleanliness and clean energy. Further, best-out-of-waste materials were also displayed, including a fish and a water tap made of discarded plastic items, emphasizing that if we do not minimize plastic use, soon it will be a part of our food and water.
Dr. Suman Mor, key organizer and associate professor at Panjab University, mentioned that the residents of Chandigarh are self-motivated to learn about the government of India's ‘LiFE initiative’. She added that the LiFE initiative engages citizens to be part of the solutions to the environmental challenges, which will promote sustainability and well-being. Dr. Mor added that our goal was not only to aware citizens but also to inculcate knowledge into action.
Dr. Ravindra Khaiwal, key organiser and Professor at PGI, Chandigarh, highlighted that visitors were made about the sources of air pollution, their health effects and how through simple measures, they can help to reduce it. He added that small actions such as using energy-saving equipment, switching off unnecessary lights, and using air-conditioners at 27-degree celsius could help to reduce air pollution emissions and will also minimize the associated death and disease burden.
The event also promoted books on the environment, biodiversity conservation, culture and moral education. Further, various Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) awareness material developed by the duo Dr. Suman Mor and Dr Ravindra Khaiwal were also displayed including the KIDs, VAAYU and CORONA comics. The other awareness material included on air pollution, plastic pollution, E-waste, noise pollution, and waste management. The children and visitors showed particular interest in the new VAAYU comic on Climate Change, recently released in over 20 Indian languages to educate about climate change and heatwaves to prevent related illnesses through simple measures. These awareness booklets are freely available online at https://www.care4cleanair.com/awarenessmaterial.
The event was a part of the 'Community Environmental Empowerment Program (CEEP)' project funded by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, New Delhi, India, along with the national clean air program initiated by the ministry.