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‘Warrior moms’ to combat air pollution in Jharkhand

Ranchi/Jamshedpur: Taking an innovative approach to sensitise and involve women in fight against climate change and air pollution, which is becoming a global menace in recent times, Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society (JSLPS) has rolled out a campaign to create ‘warrior moms’ across the state. On Thursday, Lohardaga district administration formally launched the movement in presence of over 500 women from different self-help groups (SHGs) operating the district.

Lohardaga deputy commissioner Dilip Kumar Toppo along with other officials from stakeholder agencies participating in it attended the formal programme. Studies have suggested that household air pollution is the fourth-largest risk contributor for women’s death in Jharkhand. It also is a giant killer for children below five years of age. 

Even the recently released National Family Health Survey (NFHS5) paints a worrying picture for Jharkhand where only 31.9% households have access to clean fuel for cooking of which a meager 19.5% coverage is available of it in rural areas.

Deputy Commissioner Toppo pledged support to work for solutions to improve the access of clean fuels in households to improve the health of women and children.

Manorama Ekka, Managing Trustee of Hope, a co-organiser of the event said that the ‘warrior moms’ is a national level movement, where mothers have come together to advocate for their children’s future as there is insufficient action from the decision makers on the issue. “Fighting climate change and air pollution is going to be critical in the next decade, as it will define the future we are going to have,” he said, adding that Jharkhand needs mothers to come forward to form a powerful movement which will ensure solutions to reduce dependence on biomass burning in households.

“The risk from household air pollution is a huge concern for the JSLPS as it is an issue of gender inequality, as women are more prone to the health impacts from burning biomass in households, which affects their livelihoods and their economic independence. This is an opportunity for Jharkhand to champion the role of women SHGs in fighting the crisis from climate change and air pollution. JSLPS will support the message of Warrior moms to reach every household in Lohardaga.” said Prakash Ranjan, district project manager of JSLPS.

Women SHGs during the event. TNF picture