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'I am going to uninstall candy crush and install AQI app'
New Delhi, Jan 26 - India Climate Collaborative (ICC), a multi-stakeholder consortium, along with an advocacy group Asar, has come up with five small animation films to improve awareness about the menace of air pollution and its impact on human health.
Kanchan, Saira and Raghav, the three quirky school-going friends, are seen talking about air pollution and explore sources, health impacts, and also some solutions. Starting with what is AQI, the conversations range over subjects such as vehicular pollution, waste management etc.
One of the scenes is when one of the friends who is not even aware of something called AQI. "'Air Quality Index' is like health report card of our air," explains one of the girls and also informs about the availability of multiple Apps for AQI.
"Now, I am going to uninstall candy crush and install AQI App," he says.
The Early Childhood Association, formed by educationists and school leaders with a self-governing body of 23,000 schools and pre-schools in the country, has sent these films to all schools in their network on Wednesday.
These 90-second to 140-second films, created by Asar, with the support of ICC, are currently available in Hinglish, Marathi, and Punjabi.
They are also in the process of being dubbed into Tamil among other regional languages.
Maharashtra Environment and Climate Change Department, which last year launched its Majhi Vasundhara (My Earth) Climate Curriculum for schools, published the Marathi versions of these films across its social media channels.
"Since the films were launched last Friday, across multiple social media platforms, these have already reached 11,000 views," said Asar.
"Worsening air quality is a severe problem across India but information about it is not accessible to everyone. It's often technical and uses acronyms and jargon. These videos, cut through the haze and deliver what is essential," said Asar's Director (Communications & Engagement), Brikesh Singh.
Clean air is a basic human right, and these unbranded videos are being actively shared on social media by state governments, municipal bodies, academicians, school/college networks, philanthropists, NGOs, and influencers.
Isha Chawla, head, Communications of India Climate Collaborative said the idea is to break down the complex issue of air pollution in an easy-to-understand, accessible format.
"There is a lack of a strong, cohesive narrative focused on the solutions to air pollution. To enable this, we realised it's essential to support the creation of open-source tools like these videos."
"These films are a good initiative as they enlighten the youth at a very early age, and improvement in air quality becomes a priority. As a result, it becomes ingrained in their (children's) way of life as they get older," said Member Secretary, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Ashok Shingare, adding that this was an effective step toward teaching children about two of the most pressing challenges we face today: air pollution and health.
"I was impressed with the short video clips as it allows the visual and auditory learners in our students to process more effectively with a strong recall. It is very beneficial for students to process information in their own natural way," said Director, School Leaders Network (SLN) Foundation, Francis Joseph.
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