Seven million people die each year because of exposure to air pollution, making it the single greatest environmental health risk on earth. The estimate was reported in Feb by the World Health Organization; based on 2012 numbers. What’s disturbing is that most people suffer from premature deaths due to indoor air pollution and in most developing nations it occurs largely from indoor cooking stove fuels like wood, coal, and cow dung. According to WHO, over 4 million people die prematurely from illnesses caused from cooking with solid fuels.
In a bid to prevent health hazards caused by the use of coal and wood based chulahs across India, Suraksha Sanchetna Abhiyan (SSA) from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) launched the campaign ‘Har Kadam Suraksha Ki Oar’ where the focus is on women’s health and gas conservation.
SSA’s approach to driving the message closer home is innovative with the team visiting each household amidst the rhythm of the Lezim and the infectious beat of dhols. Safety cards, pre-designed rangolis outside people’s home, the enactment of three simple street plays, prizes and lucky draws are also a part of the campaign.
Speaking about the initiative, Subhankar Biswas, GM, LPG sales and marketing, HPCL said, “This year, the new approach focuses on women’s health and gas conservation, along with concentrating on-safety issues that women need to understand and adopt. We decided to communicate the health hazards of using fuels like coal, cow dung, wood etc. In addition to conveying the benefits of using a LPG cylinder in the kitchen, we are also conveying and educating people on ways of the correct and proper use of LPG cylinders such that they don’t put anyone’s life in jeopardy.”
Through this initiative SSA will visit 500 small towns/villages across various states in Bihar, UP, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Odisha, Haryana, Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka.
Over the last three years, SSA has reached out to almost 1200 villages and engaged with over 8.5 million people with their crucial safety messages.