Over the years, Climate change and pollution have been two alarming issues that are threatening the environment and mankind. Numerous conferences have been held where these issues were emphasized upon, the most recent one being COP26 at Glasgow. Several organizations at local, national, and international levels have been working to address these and bring about a change. One such organization is the Warrior Moms who have taken up the matter of air pollution.
Founded on September 7, 2020, the group largely comprises majorly of women, mothers concerned about how their children’s health is being affected by the degrading air quality in major Indian cities. The foundation day coincided with the ‘International Day For Clean Air.’ Currently, it is spread across cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Pune, and Hyderabad, where around 1,000 mothers from across the country are raising their voice in demand for cleaner air and a greener environment.
The ‘Warrior Moms’ organization has initiated several awareness campaigns that range from the harm of firecrackers to the presence of thermal plants in residential areas. Sherry Frosh, an active member of the group and a Chemical Engineer talks about how firecrackers are not just contributing to air pollution but actively harming children’s health.
“One ‘phooljhari’ is equivalent to around 74 cigarettes,” she says. She says that when she got to know that the air quality was equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day, she was worried about her son’s health and became an active advocate for the need for cleaner air. “Ab Ki Baar Saaf Tyohaar.” hashtag was used across social media platforms to send out the message.
Another member, Anuja Bali Kartickeyan, recalls the time when the massive pollution situation in Delhi-NCR lead her to move out of the city as her son had begun showing symptoms of asthma and wheezing which started from the very young age of 8 months. She is currently a special educator based in Pune and had joined the group in 2019 to make people aware of how badly pollution can affect households and damage children’s health.
Member Bhavreen Kandhari had represented the group at the recently concluded COP 26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. Another global group called ‘Parents For Future’ had also called on all environmentally-aware groups comprising of parents to sign a letter asking for a safe planet for the future generation which was then submitted at the conference. The group also had a large-scale campaign against thermal plants pollution that garnered support from notable likes of Dia Mirza and Kiran Bedi. The workings of the group are not only limited to cities but they are also dedicated to making changes in rural areas as well.
Frosh says that it is the lack of political incentive due to why authorities are not swift on taking actions against pollution and climate change and it is the government’s imperative to ensure clean air to children and for everyone else. At the Glasgow Climate Conference, India has set a net-zero emission goal by 2070.