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12-year-old climate activist launches nationwide campaign for clean air

By Badri Chatterjee, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAY 23, 2020 11:06 PM IST

A 12-year-old climate activist has launched a nationwide campaign to ensure the air quality index (AQI) remains at safe standards even after the lockdown is lifted.

Ridhima Pandey was one of the 16 children alongside Greta Thunberg to petition the United Nations Climate Action Summit against the lack of government action on climate change in September last year.

As India completed two months of national lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic on Saturday, several studies have indicated a marked improvement in air quality over the past 60 days. “The campaign calls for immediate steps to ensure the AQI across India remains 60 throughout the year, which is considered healthy for breathing,” said Pandey.

Along with Bengaluru-based digital advocacy organisation Jhatkaa.org, Pandey released a 60-second video on Saturday as a part of the campaign - #SaalBhar60 - to ensure AQI is 60 throughout the year.

The campaign urges citizens to participate in a national digital movement on June 5, World Environment Day, by sharing their photos holding a placard saying ‘Clean Air for All’ and uploading it on social media platforms and tagging the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEF&CC).

A corresponding petition on the platform asks for the initiation of an autonomous ‘Clean Air Authority’ who will solely be in-charge of reducing air pollution levels.

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