Olympic medalist Lovlina Borgohain joins young climate champions in calling for clean air



Given the ongoing pandemic and the growing impact of climate change, the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 was crucial as world leaders deliberated on climate action to forge consensus on mitigation strategies of climate change. At the conference, India pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2070. While the pledge is to work towards the long term goal, India faces the immediate air pollution crisis . The country’s major cities are struggling with poor air quality.
Children and youth climate champions joined the COP26 conversations by creating a video highlighting the land realities of air pollution across India. The video shows the impact of air pollution on health and well-being.
The young climate champions received the support of boxer and Olympic medalist Lovlina Borgohain. Lovlina Borgohain became the third Indian boxer, after Vijender Singh in Beijing 2008 and Mary Kom in London 2012, to win an Olympic medal, when she won a bronze medal in the women’s welterweight category at the earlier Tokyo Olympics. This year.
In the Let Me Breathe video, she is seen asking everyone to speak out against air pollution as Hawa ke Rakshaks and keep the commitment to the 1.5 ° C climate target. .
The video features children from various parts of the country explaining the impact of air pollution on health. The children say the problem has its roots in increased road traffic, the burning of garbage and the exploitation of quarries. Children advocate banning garbage burning, reducing the number of cars on the roads, planting trees, and empowering businesses to limit emissions.
Seeking to explore sustainable solutions, young climate champions and advocates across Odisha, Maharashtra, Kolkata and Uttar Pradesh shared their stories and field reports on social media and platforms like LetMeBreathe – the most India’s leading community platform on climate change, pollution and sustainability stories – in a call to the public to be #HawaKeRakshak.
Trained by People Powered Digital Narratives (PPDN), these children learned about climate change, the role of storytelling and cinema, and how it can help raise awareness of this pressing issue. Through their stories, they continue to engage actors, environmental activists, doctors, medical students and others in all sectors.
The Hawa Ke Rakshak initiative received support from Neelam Makhijani, Country Director, ChildFund India, Dr Manoj Goel, Director, Respirology, Fortis Healthcare and Saurabh, Fotokatha, Wildlife Photographer, among others.
As the world faces rapid climate change, we must take action to tackle air pollution. Reducing air pollution can save 13 lives every minute in India, according to data from the World Health Organization. PPDN has supported young climate champions to highlight air pollution and support the call for clean air. PPDN is a collaborative effort to help adolescents learn and speak out about issues such as girls’ capital (education and employability), air quality, adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights. using innovative storytelling and social media.
PPDN creates online spaces that will help teens become active citizens. The aim is to empower them to speak out and influence the issues that affect them, making a positive difference in and beyond their communities. He is currently active in peri-urban and rural areas of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. Her Akshar, Hawa Ke Rakshak and Ankaheen Baatein are online communities under this initiative, which is supported by Praxis UK and its partners.

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