Crop residue burning poses a big challenge to public health and the environment. This practice is adversely affecting soil health and productivity in addition to causing acute respiratory infections in people, especially children less than five years of age, in some of the northern states of India, including Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the national capital region.

Paddy straw burning is perpetuated by the lack of means and knowledge of small-scale farmers to explore sustainable alternatives. Addressing this issue, the Flipkart Foundation has forged a unique partnership with the S M Sehgal Foundation, a grassroots NGO, with more than two decades of experience in enhancing the quality of life among Indian rural communities.

Together, we have embarked on a transformative initiative, which seeks to nurture eco-consciousness among today's children and youth. Recognising that the younger generation holds the key to shaping a sustainable tomorrow, we endeavour to equip them with knowledge in the hopes of protecting the environment and sowing the seeds of awareness and action.

Through combined efforts, we aim to bridge the gap between tradition and ecological responsibility, striving to:

  • Instill environmental awareness among the children and youth of Haryana about sustainable farming practices and the harmful effects of crop burning

  • Create environmentally conscious citizens and emphasise the importance of health, hygiene, and the relationship between sustainability and overall well-being.

As part of this ambitious intervention, a comprehensive awareness initiative has taken shape, targeting children and youth across 60 villages in the Kaithal and Kurukshetra districts of Haryana. This effort ensures that the seeds of change are sown at every level within the community for a brighter and environmentally sustainable tomorrow.