Twitter India, along with data-driven website India Spend, launched #Breathe service on Friday to enable users to get real-time information about the pollution levels in their areas with a tweet.
All you need to do is own a Twitter account, simply type #Breathe and your location in a tweet and you will get a reply tweet with a real-time update about the pollution levels in your area. The service is now available for Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
The reply tweet will inform you about the pollution levels in terms of particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10) as well as give you the possible health impact of the measured air pollution levels.
India's endemic air pollution levels have already crossed the limits prescribed by the World Health Organization. Thirteen of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are in India. Delhi reportedly has the most polluted air quality in the world.
High levels of air pollution caused nearly 1,800 deaths daily in India in 2003 and 2.7 million deaths worldwide in 2012, according to WHO, the Climate Home reported.
Twitter India said the hashtag initiative is to provide Indians with an easy tool to get live updates about the air quality in their neighbourhood. India Spend, which has partnered with Twitter, operates quality monitoring network using air quality devices fitted with GPRS transmitters across the country.
"Pollution levels across India are rising and is a huge health issue affecting millions of people. By leveraging India Spend's air-quality monitoring network, Twitter is democratising access to live air pollution data to help Indians make healthier living decisions from Earth Day 2016 and beyond," Raheel Khursheed, head of news and government partnerships, Twitter India, said in a blog post.
Twitter said it is using the breathe hashtag service as an awareness exercise to make people cautious about the rising pollution levels across metro cities in India.
The social media giant said it would expand in the next phase its campaign to Patna, Gwalior, Raipur, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Agra, Bhopal, Dehradun, Jaipur and Ranchi, which are some of the most polluted cities of India as listed by the WHO.
International Business Times, India tried the service, and here is the reply tweet we received:
— IndiaSpend (@IndiaSpend) April 23, 2016
And following is the tweet with which Twitter announced the launch of the campaign: