In a first-of-its-kind initiative in Ludhiana in Punjab, an interactive art installation consisting of giant-sized lungs will demonstrate and create public awareness on the health impact of breathing polluted air. This is the first of its kind billboard in Punjab.
Titled – ‘The billboard that breathes’ these lungs were installed on the footpath outside the BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School on Wednesday in the presence of residents.
This awareness drive was organised by EcoSikh in collaboration with Clean Air Punjab — a citizen’s collective working on the issue of air pollution and supported by Punjab Agricultural university as knowledge partners.
The chalk, white lungs, have been created using HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters. The same filters are used inside the operation theatres, anti-pollution masks and other places to trap dust. The lungs have also been fitted with fans that will suck in air to mimic the functioning of lungs while breathing.
Over the next few days, the particulate matter from dust pollution and vehicular emissions will begin getting trapped in the HEPA filters. This will lead to the lungs changing colour from chalk-white to brown to black.
Pulmonologists have highlighted the health emergency.
Not only does air pollution contribute to climate change but it also has a negative influence on public and individual health due to increasing illnesses and death.
Akashdeep Senior Pulmonologist, DMC Ludhiana said, “Air pollution causes lung cancer, cardiovascular events, central nervous system dysfunctions, and skin diseases, as well as respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and bronchiolitis, we are in health emergency the way pollution levels are rising every day.”
Environmentalist Gagnish Singh Khurana shared that this billboard will increase the conscious participation of the citizens, NGO and government machinery of our city.
“The primary objective is to create a model of awareness among the citizens of the city and other stakeholders. Time has come when we should vigilantly observe the Air Quality Index (AQI) of the city similar to the way we see the weather in our mobile apps,” Khurana said.
As per Ludhiana Clean Air Action Plan, four Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Station (CAAQMS) were to be installed in Ludhiana at various locations till March 31, 2020, to measure the average Air Quality Index (AQI) but sadly they weren’t installed.