In a new WHO pollution report, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s signature Ujjwala Scheme came in for rich appreciation. Nevertheless, the report estimated that 9 out of 10 people all around the world breathe air that contains a high level of impurities.
“While the latest data show ambient air pollution levels are still dangerously high in most parts of the world, they also show some positive progress. Countries are taking measures to tackle and reduce air pollution from particulate matter. For example, in just two years, India’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana Scheme has provided some 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to support them to switch to clean household energy use,” the report said.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) or the Ujjwala Scheme was launched by PM Modi on May 1, 2016 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. The scheme aims to protect women and children from the smoke emitted from households using firewood for cooking purposes. Under the scheme, families below the poverty line are to be provided with LPG connections with a support of Rs. 1,600 per connection in the next three years.
The report shows that more than 90% of air pollution-related deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, followed by low- and middle-income countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region, Europe and the Americas. An estimated 7 million people die of diseases caused by ambient and household air pollution every year.