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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Pune: ‘Warrior Moms’ group demands clean air, urges residents to report violations

"This is a nationwide network and we have prepared city-wise standard operating procedures so that citizens are empowered to demand action for clean air,'' says Anuja Karthikeyan, one of the co-founders of the group.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: January 5, 2022 6:51:08 pm
'The All India Know Your Rights' campaign was launched last year and the group has devised a city-wise standard operating procedure.

‘Warrior Moms’ — a women’s group launched to fight air pollution last year — has recently started a campaign that intends to empower the residents of Pune to demand cleaner air.

“This is a nationwide network and we have prepared city-wise standard operating procedures (SOPs) so that residents are empowered to demand action for clean air,” says Anuja Karthikeyan, one of the co-founders of the group, which includes women from cities like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, among others.

“The goal is to strengthen the citizen-municipal corporation partnership,” says Karthikeyan, who, along with Hamsa Iyer, Vandana Choudhry, and Hema Chari, founded the group.

“‘For Pune, we have written the SOP in both English and Marathi and released it in a small function,” she said, adding, “Residents of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have the option to report violations at any time from anywhere.”

“Last week outside Sambhaji Gardens on JM Road, Mayor Murlidhar Mohol inaugurated the white lungs installation to give a visual proof of the dirty air that is causing our lungs to turn black. The irony is that despite the huge garden, this location does not guarantee clean air. The AQI was 73 today. It was 105 yesterday. People jog, walk, run, cycle, and children play outdoors even when the AQI is poor at over 200,” Anuja said.


“It is time we amplified our voices and demand our children’s right to breathe clean air. Everyone can be part of this campaign #RightToBreatheCleanAir. Authorities want to help but in the absence of proof, they miss the polluters,” Karthikeyan said.

If residents find that trees are being cut, they can ask whether permission has been taken from the trees authority or see construction material (particularly sand) stored in any part of the street or road in a colony or open garbage burning, they can post photos, video, locations online and tag warrior moms on social media, she said.

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