November 24, 2019

Environmental sciences students in Gwalior discuss AQLI

Residents in Gwalior may be losing up to 6.1 years of their lives because of breathing polluted air.

University of Chicago’s Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) suggests that the residents in Gwalior maybe losing upto 6.1 years of their lives because of breathing polluted air. An awareness workshop in this regard was conducted by EPIC India in association with the Jiwaji University’s Environment Science Department on 23rd November 2019. The workshop was attended by Gwalior’s known faces who discussed the impact of bad air quality on the city’s health while stressing on the need for society at large to be more vocal about the problem.

Sharing his insights on the impact of air pollution on human health, renowned city physician & in-charge medical officer at the city’s Madhav Dispensary,  Dr. Arun Kushwah said, “Gwalior’s air quality has been a concern for a long time & its impact on human health has been high. Cases of respiratory diseases have been on a rise which shows the sort of impact that bad air quality has been having on the citizens here.”

Speaking on initiatives taken by the environment science department at the Jiwaji University, Dr. Harendra K Sharma, Head of Department, said, “Our department has taken the initiative to work on the issue and come up with innovative solutions to tackle the problem. Our research students have been putting in a lot of effort to address the problem.”

Talking about how civil society can play an active role in curbing air pollution, Dr. Satyaprakash Sharma said, “Delhi is always in the limelight as far as the discussion around air pollution goes. Its high time that journalists from cities like Gwalior, amongst others in the nation which have poor air quality start setting the media agenda to bring the problem of air pollution in these cities to the forefront.”

Taking a cue from that, Dr. Vijay Gupta, Chief Functionary & Hon. Secretary, Center for Integrated Development, added, “Policymakers and civil society need to adapt to changing technology. Tools like AQLI are more than just handy for communicating how dangerous air pollution has become and the need for this generation to speak up and act.”

The workshop, meant to raise awareness about the impact of pollution on human health, was attended by more than 80 participants, consisting of environment science students from the Department of Environment Science, Jiwaji University, faculty members, representatives from local NGOs & journalists.

All the participants were handed over a city-specific AQLI handout for increasing their awareness.