100% UP Exposes a Dirty Secret in the Air

February 20, 2019


A few months ago, Help Delhi Breathe launched a new activation – giant HEPA filter lungs that turned black in less than a week in Delhi’s dirty air. The installation in Delhi brought lots of attention to poor air quality levels.


Building off of the success and lessons learned from that campaign, the 100% UP team replicated this activation in Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, using new innovative media and engagement tactics. The 100% UP team set the lungs up in front of the Municipal Cooperation Office and held an inauguration which had the Mayor of Lucknow, Sanyukta Bhatia, in attendance.

At the time of installation Lucknow hadn’t observed a single clean air day for 100 days.Shockingly, the lungs turned grey within 24 hours of installation!

As in Delhi, the installation was particularly impactful in its ability to make the invisible threat of air pollution visible in a way that connected to Lucknowites. The installation received organic coverage from all media houses in the state plus many national ones. In the first few days of coverage it reached 30 million people via TV, newspapers, and radio, and it received coverage from online outlets like NDTV, Hindustan Times, Business Standard.

The lungs made a big impact politically as well. Seeing the condition of the lungs pushed the Mayor Bhatia to order the procurement of electric mechanical sweeping machines to control the road dust and a trial run of electric buses in Lucknow. The Lucknow Transport Department has committed to having 40 electric buses by the end of May 2019. Mayor Bhatia also committed to installing air pollution health advisory display boards in the coming months.

With the 2019 elections coming closer, the team will use the attention around the lungs as an opportunity to start a discussion with candidates and demand that they add clean air demands to their 2019 political party manifestos.