Doctors for Clean Air (DFCA) is a network of identified, passionate and informed Doctors who are leading the fight against Air Pollution in their respective regions across India. It was launched on December 4, 2018, bringing together more than 40 senior doctors (including pulmonologists, surgeons, pediatricians, radiologists, etc) representing every state of the country. These doctors took the social responsibility to become Clean Air Champions to advocate for clean air by by highlighting the health effects of air pollution and promoting viable solutions. Top office bearers of 12 leading National Medical Associations, representing over 1.5 lakh specialist doctors of India, also joined the program and committed themselves to this cause. All member doctors plan to promote this cause through their organizations. Since December 2018, state chapters have been launched in Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu & Puducherry, North-East, Telangana & Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The network is an initiative of Lung Care Foundation and supported by Health Care Without Harm.
The DFCA champions are engaging with local stakeholders including ministers, mayors, govt. administrators, Pollution Control Boards, researchers, media, schools and other citizens to work towards identifying local problems and promoting solutions.
Doctors For Clean Air focuses on three key aspects:
1. Identifying and engaging leading doctors who are passionate to work on air quality
2. Capacity building of doctors on Air Pollution, health impacts of Air Pollution and advocacy for clean air.
3. Supporting doctors for having local communications for clean air
“The more I try to run away from the polluted air, I find that the more it follows me. Fifteen years back, my quest for fresh clean air got me to shift my base from Delhi to Guwahati and I hoped to be relieved of my respiratory problems. Sadly, that has remained a distant dream as even my pristine north-east and especially Guwahati has become as polluted as some of the worst polluted cities of the world. This is especially true during autumn and winter season. Most of this pollution is because of our own negligence, flawed environmental policies and practices like burning of waste and plastics, hill cutting, unplanned and large construction works, vehicular pollution, traffic snarls and emissions. I long for the air that I breathed as a child, and I believe it is possible to go back in time and get the fresh clean air again with a little concerted effort and social awareness. Now is the time to fight & stop this invisible menace.”Dr. Rashna Hazarika, Pediatrician based in Guwahati and Clean Air Champion of Doctors for Clean Air, Assam & North-East India Chapter
“Air pollution is a major issue affecting millions of Indians. Understanding this need, we as medical professionals are working towards lending our voice to raise awareness about the devastating health impact of air pollution through our interaction with patients. Doctors for Clean Air is a historic step wherein senior pulmonologists, surgeons, and pediatricians from across the country and 12 leading medical associations of the country representing over 1.5 lakh doctors are committing themselves to work for clean air for 1.3 billion Indians. Now with the expansion of state chapters, we are confident that more and more Doctors will join this initiative and work with local administration and citizens groups to come up with local solutions to tackle this problem. Doctors for Clean Air Network will also engage in conducting researches to understand the health implications of prolonged exposure to air pollution.”Dr. Arvind Kumar, Founder and Managing Trustee, Lung Care Foundation
(more about Dr. Kumar here)
“Awareness level about the dangers of exposure to air pollution is at a very primitive stage amongst the general population and as doctors, it is our duty to not only treat them once the disease conditions set in but rather we should work together towards educating them in a way that the disease conditions can be prevented or cured at an early stage. At the end of a day that we spent outside our homes, when we wipe our face and check the towel, we can see black dirt on it. Now imagine the same going into our lungs. It will stay there forever and we will be unable to clean it. So, we must take up this at utmost priority by creating general awareness amongst the public and work on a war footing to prevent our future generations from the irreversible damages caused to our health by pollution.”Prof. Subhash Khanna, Surgeon
*Information provided by Mr. Abhishek Kumar, Lung Care Foundation*