Dhanbad, Jharkhand | August | 21, 2021: Center for Environment and Energy Development (CEED) organised an orientation workshop “Youth for Clean Air” to engage with the youth and students of the city with the key objective to provide them an important opportunity to gain much needed insights on air pollution and further motivate them to speak and advocate in a solution driven approach. Since, the demography of India is highly tilted towards youths and they represent a strong voice with incredible potential to bring in a desirable change on the ground, CEED has started a ‘Youth Leadership’ initiative to connect and enable them to strengthen the process of clean air in the state. As a part of the initiative, several outreach and creative activities such as a month long poster design competition and various workshops for students are being organised to create awareness and bring at the fore the provoking solutions from the imaginative younger minds.
The youth leadership initiative is planned to spread all across Jharkhand, similarly it has been started in Dhanbad as it is one of the most polluted cities in India and comes under the non-attainment cities notified by the National Clean Air Program (NCAP). A Clean Air Action Plan under the NCAP has already been developed for the city and now it is in the implementation stage. The city plan defines a clear responsibility and timeline and it is important to build awareness among stakeholders such as civil society organisations, research think-tanks, academia and citizen groups to take this forward.
Elaborating the objective behind this initiative, Ms Ankita Jyoti, Senior Program Officer at CEED said, ‘‘Youth for Clean Air is an exciting outreach initiative of CEED and it is engaging everyone between the 13-24 age who has a passion to work for clean air and willing to contribute for a better society. This initiative aims to capacitate, train and issue sensitise through knowledge sharing on mitigation measures in a solution seeking approach and further provide opportunities to engage them with key stakeholders to inculcate leadership & learning skills and enable them to bring desired change in favour of clean air. Indeed, youths can play a formidable role in raising people’s demands and aspirations of healthy and breathable air in the society.”
Endorsing the initiative, Ms Ridhima Pandey, a 13 year old prominent environmental activist who has been named in the prestigious “BBC’s 100 inspiring & influential women list for 2020”, said, “We, the youths, have a greater responsibility to save our planet and future generations in the fight against the climate change and air pollution as they are the most important issues the world is facing today. Rising air pollution has led to a public health emergency, therefore we need to be united with a clear vision and do all the efforts needed to ensure a cleaner environment and healthy air. Youths can certainly lead the process of change and make a difference in society.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Surjeet Sen, Principal, Jharkhand Public School (Dhanbad) said, “Indeed, this initiative of CEED is commendable, timely and we fully support in enhancing public education and forging leadership skills among youths on pressing issues like air pollution. Youths have all the energy, imagination and courage to become an important force in bringing formidable change in the society.”
The workshop was also addressed by Ruhie Kumar (climate activist) among others and witnessed over 50 students of various schools such as Jharkhand Public school, Mother Teresa School (Sindri), St Xavier School (Dhansar), Girls High School (Katras), Diksha High School, Jharkhand Inter Collage, Utkarmit High School, BMIL school etc, participated in the event and pledged their support for working for ensuring clean air in the city.