Artificial lungs put out at Bandra (West), Mumbai, to make people aware of the rising air pollution levels in the city has started turning black within just a week of installation.
The initiative of setting up these lungs was taken by Jhatkaa.org, a digital advocacy organisation, in collaboration with Waatavaran Foundation, an environmental organisation, both who are a part of the Clean Air Collective in Maharashtra which is a coalition of organisations/citizen groups working on air pollution.
The pair of artificial lungs titled- 'The Billboard that breathes' was installed outside RD National College junction on Thursday, January 14, 2020. These lungs were made of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. Within three days, the colour of these lungs started turning grey.
Like Mumbai, artificial lungs were installed in the streets of Delhi, Lucknow and Bangalore, so that people could be made aware of the damage caused by air pollution. Due to extreme pollution in Delhi, artificial lungs turned completely black within 6 days. In Lucknow, the colour of artificial lungs turned black in 5 days, while in Bangalore, these lungs were fine for 25 days.
"When I saw these faux lungs, I told the campaigners that these are like my lungs, which have been put up on a billboard. I will now get to see what is happening to my lungs as well as that of other Mumbaikars. This is the best possible way to demonstrate to people what is happening inside their body when they inhale polluted air," said Dr Sanjeev Mehta, Chief Pulmonologist, Lilavati hospital.
Mehta added that people will forget, Air Quality Index (AQI) or Particulate Matter levels but will never forget the sight of these black lungs at the traffic junction. "I feel it's important that more such 'Billboard that breathes' should be placed across the city to create a strong public opinion," he added.
"Professionals, businessmen and corporates all travel in private cars. Three lakh cars come to the Bandra Kurla Complex every day. That has impacted air quality. The main cause of air pollution is vehicular emission. Second is dust from construction," NDTV
quoted Bhagwan Kesbhat, the founder of an environmental organization called Waatavaran.
Shikha Kumar, campaign manager for the programme told NDTV, "With all the Aarey protests in Mumbai, we now know for sure it wasn't just about the 3,000 trees but it was about the cluster of greenery which is very important for a city like Mumbai."
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