Updated: September 11, 2020 12:41:46 pm
Mothers across India have launched a movement to fight the rising air pollution in the country, which has severe health implications on children.
The group, called ‘Warrior Moms’, was launched on Monday (September 7), which was observed as the very first International Day of Clean Air. The group includes women from cities like Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, among others, and is seeing a steady rise in membership. Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the movement is being managed via social media for now.
In December last year, the Global Alliance on Health and Air Pollution said India leads the world in pollution-related deaths. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has pointed out that children, especially those below the age of five years, are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution.
“…Air pollution is affecting the health of my kids and I cannot afford to stand back and let that happen,” said Anuja Bali Karthikeyan, spokesperson for Warrior Moms, who lives in Pune. “I cannot…see our children’s futures be affected…”
Karthikeyan said the group’s main demand is clean and safe air for children, which, she added, is their basic right. “Nature has shown us that if we try to change our lifestyle and behaviour, we can have a cleaner and greener environment,” she said. “The end goal of having clean air will require citizens to work along with the government, and mothers…can bring about the change.”
Hema Chari Madabhushi, another resident of Pune and member of the group, said, “Policymakers don’t realise how this menacing threat affects children on a large scale, but I know my child suffers daily due to air pollution. It is time the government takes action…”
Lauding the efforts of the mothers, Dr Arvind Kumar, renowned chest surgeon and founder-managing trustee of Lung Care Foundation, said, “The launch of ‘Warrior Moms’ will fill the vacuum in our efforts to secure clean air for children. The simple act of breathing alone, in most Indian cities, is like going to war with your mental and physical health. I hope this movement spreads across the country and brings every stakeholder together to ensure clean air for all.”
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