Mitigating Air Pollution in Delhi
Studies from 2010 found that outdoor air pollution was the fifth-largest killer in India, and over half a million early deaths occurred from air pollution-related diseases in that one year alone. According to a WHO study, 13 of the 20 most-polluted cities in the world are in India. And Delhi has among the worst air pollution on the globe.
In early November, levels spiked to the highest they’ve been in seventeen years. That led to the closure of over 5,000 schools, impacting an estimated 4.4 million children. There is therefore, a unique aptness in turning to those most affected, for their solutions to this problem.
And it was with this idea that Mr. Deepak Mittal approached their partner UNIC and said, “We have to do something.” And so, this science and art project began. UNIC then turned to NPSC, a nearly 200-strong network of schools around the country, to invite their members to participate. 36 schools responded, and over the course of September and October, they came up with scalable science projects to mitigate air pollution and eye-opening art works, to raise awareness for the cause.
Together, we decided that this work could not be allowed to stop here, at this level. We brought on board Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, to help us propose the selected projects to the Indian Institute of Technology, to determine how the ideas could be put into action. Sonalika will be offering offer an award of Rs. 1 lakh to the IIT students who would take the project forward. As an additional judge for the science projects, we invited Dr. SumanthChinthala, who is working on various projects at IIT Delhi in the stream of Environmental Engineering, especially focused on air pollution.
- On the 23rd of November at BalBharati Public School, Ganga Ram Hospital Marg, the science projects were judged by representatives from Shakti, NPSC, Sonalika and UNIC.
- On the 30th of November, the art projects were judged at the Ahlcon International School in MayurVihar, by these representatives, who were also joined by independent artist Ms. SeemaPandey.
- On 10th of December, the science projects were again judged by Dr. Chinthala, to determine the results of the special Innovation Award.
The grand finale of the entire project was organized at the India Habitat Centre on 21 December 2016.Results were announced and the winners were felicitated by our Chief Guest, Prof. ChintamaniMahapatra, Rector of Jawaharlal Nehru University and our Guests of Honour,Mr. Deepak Mittal, Managing Director of Sonalika Group of Companies and Mr. Ashok Pandey,Chairman of the National Progressive Schools Conference and Principal of Ahlcon International School. UNIC's ever so charming NIO Rajiv Chandran, congratulated all the participants for their marvelous ideas and stressed on the importance of working together in achieving our shared goals.
The event and the entire project as a whole had the best sense of solidarity, with young people, stakeholders and the UN coming together to promote the localization of SDGs. Sonlika, UNIC, NPSC& Shakti Sustainable foundation came together for mitigating air pollution in delhi.