The air quality index (AQI) in Mumbai has recently reached the 'moderate' category, standing at 197, as reported by the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR). In response to the concerning levels of air quality, several schools in the city have taken proactive steps to ensure a healthier environment for the students.
The Free Press Journal reached out to various schools, including Bombay International School, Dhirubhai Ambani International School, N.L. Dalmia High School, and more to understand the measures being implemented.
"We have installed air filters since the pandemic, there is also an AQI system that checks air quality of the school premises 5 times a day," shared spokesperson from Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Bandra.
"Every classroom on every floor has a separate air filter", he added.
Furthermore, these schools have committed to regularly monitoring the AQI in the air surrounding their premises, checking levels every few hours to maintain the quality of air.
Additionally, The Free Press Journal also discovered that Bombay International School is planning to enhance its air purification system.
"We plan on installing centralized air purification systems for bigger areas in the school premises, right now we have small machines in classrooms and other areas but we want to upgrade soon." revealed Dr. Cyrus Vakil, Principal of Bombay International School, Grant Road.
"Every couple of hours we record the quality of air in our premises. We are in talks with some people who manufacture these systems in New Delhi and we will come across something soon." he added.
Other than air filters, some schools have also opted for automated air filtration through air conditioners installed in the school.
"Our classrooms are air conditioned, we have a Treated Fresh Air Unit (TFA) system in our foyer that helps keep the air clean. This system also makes sure that there is a proper ventilation in the school premises," revealed Ms. Kalpana R Patange, Principal of Jamnabai Narsee School, Vile Parle.
"The AC in the classrooms automatically purifies the air," she added.
These schools have also established dedicated clubs that focus on educating both parents and students about the issue of air pollution and the concept of air quality.
Dr. Seema Saini, Principal of N.L. Dalmia High School, Mira Road shared, "We have an Ecosphere Club that focuses on educating parents and students about environmental concerns."
"Students spend a large amount of their day at school, with the increasing air pollution, it is important that students are provided with good quality air to ensure that they do not get affected due to the pollution. After Diwali, this situation is going to get worse and so we have tried to make our students understand not to light fire crackers and these filters will also help," she added.
The FPJ also talked to students to get their opinion on the air purification measures in their school.
"It would be great if all schools can opt for air filters, we don't want Mumbai's school to become online like Delhi schools," said Radha Vishwakarma, a student at Vibgyor Roots And Rise.