Maharashtra Joins Unique Virtual Human Chain To Show Solidarity For Achieving Clean Air  

Together for Clean Air Clean Air
Share this News:

Pune, 6th September 2023: In a unique show of unity and to seek their right to breathe clean air, over hundred pan-India based organisations, bolstered by the support of celebrities, parliamentarians, and citizens have joined hands to form a virtual human chain ( this International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies on September 7.

A virtual human chain involves citizens concerned about the quality of air they are breathing uploading a selfie image on a dedicated website or social media platform in solidarity with International Day of Clean Air. The virtual human chain has found support and participation from Actor and India’s United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza, Rajya Sabha MP from Pune Vandana Chavan, Justice (retd) Anjana Prakash, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court, Mrs India Earth 2021 Jaspreet Kaur Sobti, along with over 800 people who have shared their selfies with the hashtag #TogetherForCleanAir.  

The campaign #TogetherForCleanAir, based on the theme for the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Sky, is being led by the Clean Air Collective. The Collective is a coalition of around 150 members – a diverse set of people and organisations from across India, committed to raising awareness about air pollution and taking collective action to improve air quality. 

Brikesh Singh, Convenor of Clean Air Collective shared that the idea behind having a virtual human chain was to try and send the message that irrespective of whether it is Nagpur or Pune or any corner of Maharashtra, air pollution impacts everyone. 

“Air pollution doesn’t discriminate; it affects us all and hence on this International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, we wanted citizens to showcase through this virtual human chain that we’re united in our commitment under the banner of #TogetherForCleanAir. This collective effort of addressing air pollution is taking on a new form—one that emphasises on the collective responsibility of society and innovative approach and its potential impact to achieve cleaner air,” he said. 

Gaurav Gogoi, MP and Convener of the Parliamentarians’ Group for Clean Air (PGCA), shared that while we observe the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, the growing levels of air pollution needs our collective attention and there is an urgent need to tackle this issue as a cohesive force.

In light of the increasing air pollution, PGCA, a consortium of over 37 MPs, takes a leadership role in driving tangible actions that address existing gaps in the sustainability framework in the country.

“As a country, we must constantly remind ourselves that air pollution is not just a winter problem; it exists all year, and it is now India’s most pressing challenge,” said Gogoi. adding that the most worrying aspect of air pollution is that it has an adverse impact on the health of our women, children, and senior persons. 

The Assam MP noted that this year’s observance, themed ‘Together for Clean Air,’ clearly calls for a collaborative approach and strategy to pursue better air for a healthy future for all residents. “Governments, whether central or state, urban local bodies, civil society, and individuals must all work together to forge stronger partnerships, take responsibility, and invest in the fight against air pollution,” he added. 

Meanwhile citizen groups across cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and other cities across the country are organising multiple events on the campaign #TogetherforCleanAir from walks to discussions to conducting awareness sessions.

Sandhya Bhagat, a teacher from Vivekanand School in Nagpur stated that such campaigns are very important for students. “Children are most vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution and hence it’s important that they understand this issue. Once children are made aware, they will also influence their parents. Under this campaign we conducted an awareness drive for our students who have benefited, and we plan to regularly keep talking to them about air pollution,” she said.      

Poonam Sanas, coordinator of ASHA workers in Shivaji Nagar, Pune said that there was a need to inform every household across all communities of the serious health consequences of air pollution. “Campaigns like Together for Clean Air need to be held more frequently so that more and more people not only understand but also speak about the health issue of air pollution thus joining in the fight to mitigate air pollution,” she said. 

Rwitwika Bhattacharya, CEO, Swaniti Initiative said, “I am happy to see that awareness and actions on the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Sky have been consistently attaining new heights. This year’s theme of the human virtual chain is poised to take the conversation out of Delhi and to other areas where equal attention and support is required. As a dedicated support system to the Parliamentarians’ Group for Clean Air (PGCA), we have been successful in driving tangible actions on the ground with the support of Hon’ble Parliamentarians. I believe more support for such forums which are spread all across India can take the conversation to the community level beyond Delhi. 

About Clean Air Collective: 

The Clean Air Collective was a result of the observation that most of the problems we face today, including air pollution, cannot be solved with individuals or organisations working in silos. The Collective was created as an unbranded network working on air pollution – to align on strategy, to complement each other’s work, to reduce duplication of efforts, and to ensure deeper impact through collaborative work. The Collective currently comprises 150 members – a diverse set of people and organisations.