BENGALURU: To fight prolonged dust pollution in Hennur, Narayanpura and Kothanur, a group of students in the city organised a voluntary ‘Free Mask Distribution’ campaign and an awareness drive on Feb 7 in the tri-junction of K Narayanapura Cross.
For over 1.5 years, residents have been witnessing road menace in their locality, despite multiple complaints. BWSSB had dug up the road to lay pipes, leading to air pollution in the area. The students had conducted a prior community study as part of the campaign and identified breathing-related issues. “Other complaints of skin allergy in the form of rashes and eye infection also need to be addressed immediately,” said one of the campaigners.
Over 2,000 people visit local hospitals due to dust-related issues. “Most of the affected people are aged below 10 years and above 50 years. Symptoms like asthma, breathing problems, cold, allergic cough and sneezing persist,” said Dr Ram Kumar, Avhieta Hospital and Health care near HBR Layout, Kothanur.
Security guards of ATMs, nearby apartments and other offices echoed that a single mask is insufficient and such an initiative is highly beneficial due to the nature of their job. The campaign intends to build a positive attitude towards wearing a mask. “It was nice to see the students saving their pocket money to help locals beat air pollution by supplying face masks. Their independent efforts empowered the pedestrians, students, auto drivers and shopkeepers who are exposed to air pollution,” said Dr Juby Thomas, journalism teacher, Kristu Jayanti College Bengaluru.