Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor Rahul Jadhav launched a project on Saturday to spread environmental awareness among school students. The project, SAFAR-School Flag Awareness Programme on Air Quality, has been started by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune along with the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).
The project was launched at SNBP School and Junior College in Pimpri in a programme attended by more than 200 students and school principals. The schools which take part in the project will have to announce the Air Quality Index (AQI) every day. The AQI has six categories, namely ‘good, satisfactory, moderate, poor, very poor and severe’, and schools that register for the programme will keep six colours of flags representing these six categories. After announcing the AQI at the morning assembly, they will have to raise and display the corresponding colour flag at the school.
At the launch event, PCMC Commissioner Shravan Hardikar said air pollution harms the lungs and brain development in children. He interacted with students on meteorology, particulate matter and gaseous pollutants like CO2 and what measures can be taken to control air pollution.
Dr Gufran Beig, project director, SAFAR, IITM, provided background of the flag mission and explained the AQI and its six categories’. He also asked all school principals to spread awareness about this programme.
The project is an action-based early warning system, translating consolidated information of air quality, weather and health into advisory and alerts for action on the ground, a press release stated. It will help schools create awareness about air quality, advisory, precautions, alerts and actions to minimise adverse impact of air pollution.
All PCMC schools as well as those schools which register for this programme will get air quality information with colour code, advisory and precautions for SAFAR every day.