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Delhi govt students hit the roads to assess air quality

Thirty middle school students took to the streets of south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar with potable air quality monitors and censors, recording the pollution levels and assessing the causes.

delhi Updated: Jan 22, 2017 09:54 IST
Soumya Pillai
Soumya Pillai
Hindustan Times
air pollution in Delhi,Delhi air quality,air quality monitors
Delhi was enveloped by thick smog for days after Diwali.(Raj K Raj/HT File)

A group of thirty middle school students hit the roads of south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar with potable air quality monitors and censors, recording the pollution levels and assessing the causes.

Clean Asia in partnership with the US embassy and Delhi government conducted a pollution sensitisation programme at Vasant Vihar’s Sarvodaya Vidyalaya.

The two-day workshop, which started on Wednesday, aimed at creating awareness among students on the sources of pollution in the city and how it can affect different categories of people. On Thursday, the students walked through the CBI colony, and took a round of the Priya shopping complex and saw how the levels of particulate matter fluctuated at different spots.

“We learnt how small actions such as not switching off the ignition of our cars in traffic jams and throwing garbage in the open can be harmful for us and people around us,” said Class-6 student Rashi Maurya.

Read more: New Anand Vihar Metro station to reduce travel time from East Delhi to Gurgaon

This was the last leg of the workshops, which started in December, and covered two other schools—Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in Mansarovar Garden.

On day-1, students were told about the different sources of pollution and the pollutants which are likely to dominate in an area because of the surroundings. The selected students also conducted a neighbourhood walk and noted how factors such as open cooking, traffic movement and construction activities can contribute to pollution levels.

“We have never done such workshops with such young children but it was amazing to see how interested and receptive they were. At the end, we also gave projects to children and the results of these will be submitted to the Delhi government and the US embassy in February,” said air quality researcher Sohana Debrama, who conducted the workshop.

The students said they wanted to educate other students, parents and neighbours on how they can reduce pollution emissions. Principal Kavita Rana said the school will encourage students in spreading awareness.

“We have offered Clean Air Asia assurance that our students can become ambassadors in helping them spread the awareness for the cause. We were thinking they could in fact be accompanied by teachers and can address commuters at traffic signals and tell them about the effects of idling,” said Rana.

Idling is a practice of not switching off the ignition of a vehicle when it is not moving.

First Published: Jan 19, 2017 23:18 IST