TOI Green Drive campaign wins DMA’s Leader award

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MUMBAI: In appreciation of its efforts to ‘Let Delhi Breathe’, The Times of India has bagged the Leader award for its ‘TOI Green Drive’ campaign at the ECHO-affiliated DMA India CREATEFFECT Awards 2016.

The presentation ceremony was held in Mumbai on Tuesday. The awards celebrate India’s most creative and effective data-driven marketing campaigns.

The campaign ‘Let Delhi Breathe’ was launched in October 2014 after the World Health Organisation (WHO) ranked the national capital as the world’s most polluted city on particulate matter (PM) rating using the level of PM2.5, the most harmful air pollutant for humans. It was 15 times higher than the WHO annual permissible limit. Following the overwhelming response, the TOI Green Drive was launched as an on-ground activity in collaboration with Delhi Development Authority to plant over a lakh saplings in the national capital.

The drive effectively used print, TV , radio, website, social media and on-ground activities such as street plays, flash mobs, freeze mobs, street walks and walkathon to create awareness of rising air pollution levels in Delhi and mobilize over 40,000 people to be part of the plantation drive.

Government bodies, corporate houses, NGOs, spiritual outfits, schoolchildren, senior citizens and specially-abled people joined this drive to plant saplings.

The initiative was inaugurated by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on August 4, 2015 at Sanjay Lake and culminated on August 30, 2015. The month-long campaign saw 40,000 Delhiites plant 1.2 lakh saplings in less than six hours at Tilpath Valley, which was designed to be developed as a biodiversity park. The focus was to revive the damaged ecosystem, which would help in reducing the effects of air pollution.

The trees planted were all local species in the form of community clusters that will help regenerate many other species of flora and fauna. After the event, the 200 acres of city forest land was cleaned and waste in the form of empty water bottles, plastic wraps and empty food boxes -was sent for disposal. This initiative by TOI will be taken forward in other cities as well.