Awaaz starts people's campaign against noise
Awaz Foundation members at the launch of ‘Gods Against Noise’, the first campaign under ‘Your Voice against Noise’
VIRAT A SINGH | Thu, 1 Sep 2016-07:55am , DNA
Initiative is to make citizens act as pressure group on govt to ensure implementation of rules
Enthused by the rising number of people and citizen groups raising their voice against increasing noise pollution, Awaaz Foundation has initiated a collaborative campaign, 'Your Awaaz against Noise', asking Mumbaikars to act as a pressure group on state government to ensure all the rules pertaining to anti-noise pollution laws are followed.
Sumaira Abdulali, convenor of Awaaz Foundation, said that in last one year the number of people who have come out on the streets against noise pollution — be it honking or noise due to religious functions — has gone up and this means the awareness we have been trying to spread since a long time is bearing fruit. "People question us about what can they do, and to solve it we decided to initiate this campaign, which can be used by people like a platform for raising various issues related to noise pollution in their neighbourhood. We will be equipping them with all information as well as anti-noise pollution laws and material required for campaigning," said Abdulali adding that they felt a strong need for such a collaborative campaign.
The first campaign under the 'Your Voice against Noise' announced is 'Gods Against Noise', keeping the festival season in mind.
"Politicians are accusing us that we are against religion or religious festivals but we want to tell them that no religion has ever preached creating loud noise that affects and disturbs others. In fact, we want to urge politicians to encourage their people to avoid using DJs, musical instruments and amplifiers during visarjan days has serious implication on the health of people," said Dr Mahesh Bedekar, a Gynecologist who runs a hospital in Thane and had filed a PIL against the noise during religious festivals. He also cited the example of Kolhapur where some politicians had decided to do away with noisy processions during Ganeshotsav and it was the right example to follow.
Bedekar said that till now individual people have been fighting against noise pollution, which was the reason why it was being ignored and hence under this campaign when citizens join in large number and begin carrying out not only awareness but also seeking implementation of the rules even the government machinery. "There has been several studies that have proved that loud noise has serious impacts on the health of pregnant women as well as the foetus.," he said.
Dr MV Jagade, an ENT surgeon from JJ Hospital, said that they have seen that the number of cases of complete hearing as well as partial hearing loss spiraling in last few years. "Noise pollution is huge concern as it causes several ailments including cardio-vascular diseases, hypertension and others that can have long term impact. One of the immediate thing it can cause it irritability and increase stress and hence it's high time people wake up and accept that it's a serious issue and begin taking measures including practicing that they themselves will not be contributors to noise pollution," he said.
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Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.