Here is how two neighbourhoods in Adyar measured their Air Quality Index

Can we assess how bursting of crackers has impacted air quality in a neighbourhood?

Reap Benefit, a Bengaluru-based social enterprise that seeks to solve neighbourhood-related issues with a data-led approach, launched a Deepavali campaign getting residents to set up air-quality monitoring devices at their neighbourhoods.

As part of this campaign, in Chennai, two such WiFi-enabled devices were installed at Kamaraj Nagar and 21st Street Indira Nagar in Adyar. A few houses sported these devices on the outside to measure air-quality level starting from October 26.

The sensor-based device measures dust particles at PM 2.5 and PM 10 levels. Plugged to a WiFi device, the system collects and uploads the data and shows the reading any time of the day. It also says if the reading is good or bad.

Reap Benefit will have the readings tabulated till November 11, after which the NGO would use the data to drive anti-pollution campaigns.

The readings showed a peak on October 27 and 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m when the Air Quality Index (AQI) fluctuated between 400 and 500, showing an increase in pollution levels. Thanks to the rains, during the day, the AQI ranged between 10 and 20, which is a good number.

While it’s obvious that air pollution levels spike during Deepavali, having data to drive change is the objective of this initiative, says Gauthamraj Elango, senior programme manager.

“We will be using this data for our next Deepavali campaign,” he added.

Prior to the launch of the campaign, Reap Benefit conducted a workshop for youngsters on how they can contribute to the campaign by addressing the issue in their locality.

Once the drive ends, the full report will be presented on its website. “We will also be having a social media campaign asking for individual action,” says Gouri Lekshminarayanan, product designer.

People have the liberty to celebrate Deepavali with fire crackers but choosing the right ones will help reduce emission levels, she says.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 2:29:53 PM |

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