Arts & Culture

NDTV Breathe Clean Conclave 2015: Clean Air is our Birth Right

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NDTV in collaboration with Philips organised a conclave on Indoor Air Pollution in Taj Hotel Chankyapuri on 24th August. The conclave was flagged of by the first host Vikram Chandra who discussed some rudimentary problems related to air pollution and was then joined by Prashant Javedkar, the Minister of state for Environment in an online session where Mr. Javedkar was very welcoming to the suggestions of the audience and said the ministry is very concerned about the environment and has already taken measures to reduce indoor air pollution, especially in the rural areas.



He also pointed out that still a large proportion of families in villages use wood and chullas for cooking which produces a lot of smoke and to counter this he shed light on the schemes the government has introduced such as the LPG cylinder scheme and the Solar power usage in households. Lastly he welcomed all the suggestions and assured the audience that the government will take every step to control air pollution.

After the session with Mr. Javedker, Vikram then called on stage the first panel of the day. Six in number, these panellists comprised of Partho Das from Clean Asia, Mr Kunikesh a MP from Odisha and the Bollywood actress Soha Ali Khan among others. Before starting of the discussion few statistics were revealed to the audience, from a random sample taken of the cities in India, Agra came out to be the most polluted city, followed by Delhi and Chennai.



Further it was illuminated that the pollutant particles have now become as small as 2.5 pm. The panel then had a discussion on the various diseases these particles cause which include blood inflammation, Heart diseases, chronic Lung diseases and cancer. Another study revealed that the indoor pm count was 400 particles per million, whereas the count on a busy traffic signal was 168 particles per million. This shocking study then became the base for the all following discussions. The panel then discussed the ground level solutions that each household could adopt for reducing these levels considerably: Better ventilation in houses, indoor plants and open windows.

A message was then played, Robert Swan an international figure in the field addressed the problem of pollution in India by linking it to the usage of kerosene and petrol in the country, and he encouraged the nation to shift to solar power from thermal power resources.


Following this NDTV then connected the audience and panel to Kennedy Space centre, NASA in USA. In this session the importance of purifying air and water was highlighted using special plants and high value crops.

After a short break, a second panel was convened with the host Ravish Kumar from NDTV. This panel again consisted of well known and qualified panellists including Kunal Kohli the famous Bollywood director, Jayati Singh, and Barun Aggarwal among others. The discussion now revolved around bio mass burning and importance of public transport. A new study revealed, the schools where more parents use their private vehicles to pick and drop their kids have higher pollution levels. Indoor smoking and pets can also affect the pollution level significantly.


Towards the end, the panelists and Mr Kumar came to a conclusion that the problem of Air Pollution is multi-dimensional and not just a political or a household agenda. All sectors need to come together and tackle the problem to ensure the safety of our children and future generation. The conclave was then brought to a close by pledging a cracker free Diwali this year.


Image Credits: Uzma Rehman for DU Beat

Arushi Pathak is a (over-enthusiastic) senior pursuing Economics Honours from DU. The Associate Editor at DU Beat, she is an avid debater and can’t refrain from expressing her opinion over everything. Somehow obsessed with New York City (and all sitcoms set in NYC), she day-dreams to live there soon. She is a die-hard Grey’s Anatomy fan and can’t have enough of tragedy-themed novels. She believes that she has got the best of both worlds-Economics and Journalism. Always ready for a pep-talk or a life-changing discussion equally readily, she can be contacted at [email protected].

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