SwitchOn Foundation has launched the campaign #ChildRights4CleanAir on the occasion of International Women’s Day with a cycle rally organised in Deogarh with Frontal Development Organisation. Women from all walks of life came out on the streets demanding their Childrens’ Right to Breathe Clean Air.
Under the campaign #ChildRights4CleanAir SwitchOn Foundation clicked various pictures of these women and sent them to the Policy makers. The event aimed at making the common masses aware that air pollution is a dangerous and silent killer in the long run and degrading to the health of children the most.
On the occasion of ‘International Women’s Day’, mothers from different stratas of life in Jharkhand’s Deoghar came across to discuss the pressing issue of clean air for their children, an essential human right to be accessible at the immediate instance. The City of Deogarh witnessed a group of Mother’s from the interior section of the town came out on the streets to voice the rights of their children for a pollution free future through a peaceful rally demonstration.
Air pollution is a silent killer across the world and more so in regions more close to industries and undergoing development. The state of Jharkhand in recent times has been undergoing a lot of development and has come under the radar for creating a lot of pollution emissions. In order to tackle this problem, Mother’s belonging to marginalised communities in the region came out and demanded clean air as a basic human right for their children from the local administration in a very peaceful manner. The event was one of a kind, since it displayed the strength that they possess being Mother’s who belonged to the often marginalised communities in the region. Further, the Mother’s decided to organise a bicycle rally, at the event apart from coming out together on the streets with more than 300 women as a part of this campaign. The event also marked an ode to ‘International Women’s Day Celebration’ and the display of strength women possess in the day to day running of events.
Smt. Sarla Karm, Secretary, Frontal Development Organisation, who are organising the event said, “As Mothers we are concerned about our children’s health and we support the campaign #ChildRights4CleanAir. We want our children to grow up with Clean Air. Clean Air is a basic right and we want our children’s rights to be secured. The use of bicycles too sent out a strong message that Non- Motorised Transport needs to make a comeback on our roads and it’s time we make an effort to make it happen.”
Smt. Sarla Karm added, “The International Women’s Day definitely marks as a good beginning to get going ahead with the cause of letting people aware of the harm our polluting activities can create in the coming future. Children need protection and as active and conscious citizens of this society we should be forthcoming with our resources and use them judiciously and look into generating waste in as little as possible.”
An online perception study was conducted by Switch ON Foundation to grasp the understanding that people perceive of air pollution and the damage it has caused to respiratory health. This study was conducted in the state of West Bengal and Jharkhand targeting multiple stakeholders that included schools, colleges and many other institutions. The major takeaway from the learnings was that acknowledgment of air pollution as a problem was present amidst the masses. People are indeed worried about their children’s health and a significant number of people are indeed worried about their living conditions, thus confirming that exposure to air pollution is an overlooked health emergency for children.
Extending support to the cause, Mr.Vinay Jaju, Managing Director Switch ON Foundation said, “We are happy to be supporting such a noble initiative and look forward to reaching out and securing the rights of our children. We will work to the best of our ability in order to safeguard children from the damaging impact of air pollution. Further we would also like to extend our solidarity to the mothers who have taken up this fight for the basic right of their children to breathe clean air.”