Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-Delhi) has partnered with multilingual social media platform Koo to create awareness on the need to curb air pollution and build a cleaner environment.
The partnership – through the Foundation for Innovation and Technology Transfer (FITT), an industry-academia interface organization for IIT-Delhi — will reach a wider and more diverse audience, including first-time social media users, with content on pollution levels and possible remedies to curb its impact, in local languages.
IIT-Delhi, along with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), has deployed sensors across multiple locations in the country to track air pollution levels.
It will build an Application Programming Interface (API) that will be integrated with Koo’s API to receive pollution-related data.
This data will be shared with users on the platform in their local languages through interactive videos and visual content.
Koo will start a dedicated handle to raise awareness around air pollution, which will also offer advice from medical experts on safeguarding oneself.
Air pollution has been linked to several respiratory ailments and has also been known to cause a spike in temperatures.
“Public awareness through a partnership such as this is, therefore, a crucial step towards lessening pollution levels and its impact on society,” Koo said in a statement.
The collaboration will start as a pilot study for six months and will help to identify specific sources of pollution. This is expected to help the government with data-driven insights and evidence-based policy making.
“I am pleased to explore how scientific evidence-based information (on pollution data) can be converted for mass consumption via a multilingual social media platform like Koo,” said P Vigneswara Ilavarasan, Abdulaziz Alsagar chair professor, department of management studies, IIT-Delhi.
“Customizing content to suit local languages can drive better outcomes. This pilot project has pan-India potential to encourage people to adopt practices that can ultimately curb pollution,” he said.
Air pollution is the largest environmental and health concern in India, said Sagnik Dey, institute chair professor, centre for atmospheric sciences, IIT-Delhi.
“Without public support and mass awareness, the issue of air pollution cannot be resolved. I am excited to be part of this pilot project, which will explore people’s perception about air pollution and promote clean air practices.” Dey said.
This will allow us to develop a more effective communications strategy and increase people’s participation, he added.
“Koo is best positioned to work jointly with IIT-Delhi to address the issue of air pollution,” said Aprameya Radhakrishna, co-founder and chief executive of Koo.
“Through the Multi-lingual Kooing (MLK) feature, Koo can help to build awareness at the individual, community and government levels. Together, we can ensure that concerns related to air pollution cease to be a part of our children’s future,” Radhakrishna added.