June 1, 2023, New Delhi: Cementing robust bilateral collaboration, the United States together with Delhi-based nonprofit Lung Care Foundation sponsored “Conversations on U.S. & India: Actions for Clean Air and Better Health” today at the India International Center. U.S. Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti kicked off a half-day workshop which included more than 75 civil society leaders, policymakers, educators, health care professionals, journalists, and private sector representatives.
The event marked the conclusion of Saaf Hawa Aur Nagrik – SHAN (Clean Air and the Citizen), a four-year comprehensive and multilingual air quality public education campaign in the Delhi-National Capital Region. Implemented by the Lung Care Foundation through a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Embassy, the campaign empowered individuals and communities with information and tools to protect themselves from the adverse effects of air pollution, and raised awareness on how air pollution contributes to the climate crisis.
“To safeguard global peace and prosperity, we need a bold agenda to confront global climate change,” said Ambassador Garcetti. “There is no issue that is more fundamental to the well-being of all our peoples than access to clean air. As Ambassador, I will prioritize working with India to build green energy solutions and will support our growing bilateral effort to ensure a successful green energy transition.”
“Implementing a multi-pronged communication strategy, the program deployed a range of community outreach activities,” said Rajiv Khurana, LCF Founder, with regards to the SHAN project’s success. “This included the creation of engaging wall art, conversations and learning sessions with under-served communities, establishing a community volunteer task force, and placing billboards. The initiative also utilized creative media and capitalized on collaborations with women’s groups and resident welfare associations. These diverse methods successfully reached the target groups and increased their engagement in discussions and actions for clean air,” he added.
“Clean air is the essence of good health and a fundamental right for all humanity,” said Shweta Narayan, a global climate and health campaigner for Health Care Without Harm. “Achieving clean air requires a collective effort; it demands collaboration among governments, industries, civil society, and individuals alike. It necessitates bridging gaps, breaking silos, and fostering dialogue to develop holistic strategies that tackle pollution at its root.”