New Delhi: In line with its goal to work with Indian partners in improving India’s air quality, in late 2019, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi distributed 58 low-cost air-quality monitors and 14 weather stations to the Society for Indoor Environment, a Delhi-based NGO.
These units will be set up in educational institutions in select second- and third-tier cities, as well as rural areas, across north India. The air quality and weather data acquired from these devices will be used to analyze the trends of pollutants outside the major urban centers and build environmental awareness and capacity within smaller communities.
Sameer Sheth, the Environment, Science, and Technology Unit Chief at the U.S. Embassy said, “We are very excited with the implementation of the low cost monitor initiative in India. We are thrilled to partner with the Society for Indoor Environment and with host institutions to help spread awareness on air quality and build capacity to monitor it in local areas.”
Air quality monitoring sites are generally located in large cities, and smaller communities often lack awareness of the scale of air pollution and remedial and preventive measures they can take to protect themselves from adverse environmental and health effects. To build capacity within these communities, staff from each host institution will be trained in installing and handling the equipment, as well as collection and compilation and analysis of all generated data. At quarterly intervals, these data will be presented and discussed with local residents, helping spread awareness about the role of air quality monitoring, the importance of keeping the air clean, and the prevention of illnesses associated with air pollution.
In describing the working relationship, Dr. Arun Sharma, president of the Society for Indoor Environment, said “This project could only be implemented because of support from the U.S. Embassy in Delhi.”