India is home to 6 of the world’s most polluted cities, and the air we are breathing causes more deaths than tobacco smoking or poor nutrition. Indoor air is 2 to 5 times worse than outside air. It is toxic for our children and families, causing cancers, reduced life expectancy, lung damage and air borne allergies.
Inhaling pollutant air takes away atleast 1-2 years of a typical human life. In an effort to highlight this critical national issue and recommend possible solutions, Philips and NDTV hosted the ‘Breathe Clean Conclave 2015’today at Taj Palace Hotel, Delhi. Actor Soha Ali Khan also extended her support for the initiative.
The conclave began with an opening keynote address by Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Environment and was attended by leading medical practitioners, environmentalists, NGOs and concerned citizen and parent groups. The two panel discussions held as part of the Breathe Clean Conclave focused on Breathe Clean- Act for Better Air and Indoor Air Quality and Children’s Health.
Inaugurating the conclave, Shri Prakash Javadekar, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (Independent Charge) said, “I am really happy that NDTV has taken this initiative because I feel media houses can make people aware and also help tackle issues. At the outset, I must say we have a problem as any other city in the world and this is because of growing population, growing density and growing rate of urbanization. Delhi air has gone bad in the last 8-10 years and if media would have started a campaign earlier it could have worked faster. We must create awareness of more ventilation, more plantation and more education to address this issue. I want to launch Fresh Air – My birth right campaign to help address this problem”.
Sharing his thoughts on the initiative, Vikram Chandra, Group CEO of NDTV said, “The health and economic impact of pollution is worrying and with the rising vehicular and industrial pollution, this national issue is only going to get worse. NDTV believes that clean air should be a basic human right. Through this conclave, we hope to give experts as well as citizens a platform to suggest recommendations to the government, as well as motivate people to take action at an individual level.”
Mr. Krishna Kumar, Managing Director and Vice President, Philips India, said, “The rising toll of deteriorating quality of air is becoming a household concern. A lot more potent than outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution is increasingly being recognized as a threat. We, at Philips, recognize this challenge and are committed to deliver a healthier lifestyle for our consumers through meaningful innovations. Breathe Clean Campaign is an initiative to help consumers and institutions recognize the need to switch to healthier lifestyle practices. Since clean air has become a rarity, Philips is constantly innovating to bring about freedom from indoor air pollution.”
Soha Ali Khan, Actor, also voiced her concern and said, “It is alarming that the very air we are breathing can be so harmful to our health. I was shocked to find out that air pollution levels inside our homes can be twice as high as those outside. This is an issue that demands our immediate attention and I am happy to be associated with NDTV’s Breathe Clean Conclave, a platform dedicated to finding solutions to this crisis affecting all of us – especially children and the elderly.”
Moderated by Vikram Chandra, the first session had an eminent list of panelists including Soha Ali Khan, Actor; Prof Sanjay Zodpey, Vice President, Academics, Public Health foundation of India ; A Krishna Kumar, MD and CEO, Philips India; Dr Gary Stutte, Senior Scientist, NASA; Parthaa Bosu, India Director and South Asia Liaison, Clean Air Asia; Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director – Research and Advocacy , Centre for Science and Environment; Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo, MP, Odishaand Dr Randeep Guleria, Head of the Department of Pulmonology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences who shared their insights on how we can contribute for better clean air.
The second discussion focused on the health impact of air pollution on children and was moderated by NDTV’s Ravish Kumar. The panel included Jayati Singh, Director and Business: Head Health and Wellness and Air, Philips Consumer Lifestyle; Kunal Kohli, Director and Concerned Parent; Dr Vivek Nangia,Pulmonologist, Fortis Hospital; Sushma Paul Berlia, Apeejay Stya & Svran Group,Barun Aggarwal, Breathe Easy and Dr Randeep Guleria, Head of the Department of Pulmonology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
The closing key note address was delivered by Prof Sanjay Zodpey, Vice President, Academics, Public Health foundation of India. The key takeaways from the sessions were presented to Minister Shri Prakash Javadekar as recommendations for a clean air future.