Doctors want April 26 to be no-honking day in India
Dangers of noise pollution range from high blood pressure and irritability, to hearing-related issues
VIRAT A SINGH | Thu, 30 Mar 2017-07:45am , Mumbai , DNA
Physicians hope the initiative will raise awareness on the health hazards of noise pollution
Doctors who have been warning you of the perils of noise pollution, a major trigger for several ailments including cardiac issues, now intend to ensure that all of India observes a no-honking day on April 26.
According to Kerala-based ENT surgeon Dr C John Panicker, National Convenor of National Initiative for Safe Sound (NISS), about 200 representatives of Indian Medical Association (IMA) from across India discussed the serious implications of rising pollution in a meeting recently held in Delhi. During the meeting, doctors took the decision to ask the country to observe International Noise Awareness Day on April 26 as a no-honking day.
“The Kerala government has already made this a state initiative. Actor Mohanlal has agreed to be the brand ambassador. We will be recording a message from him to dissuade people from senseless honking and encourage participation on the No-Honking Day,” said Panicker. IMA members in Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Karanataka, and some other states are planning various events to promote minimum use of honking, he told DNA.
According to Panicker, NISS and IMA members have been working together on the issue for a while. “The medical fraternity is best equipped to create awareness among patients on the serious health hazards of noise pollution. Noise pollution is the number one reason for permanent hearing loss and health complications such as heart-related ailments, stress, and acidity,” he explained.
There is an urgent need to curb noise pollution from traffic. Some of the horns produce sound between 100 to 120 decibels (dB). Continuous exposure to such high levels of noise is extremely harmful, Dr Panicker said.
Mumbai-based anti-noise pollution activist Sumaira Abdulali will be coordinating with IMA representatives from Maharashtra and the Mumbai Traffic Police head to make the campaign a success in the city.
Abdulali, who is the founder of Awaaz Foundation, said that the Central Government should step in and ensure that all Indian states observe April 26 as No Honking Day, with special focus on cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Lucknow, and Hyderabad that top the list of India’s noisiest cities.
“Noise pollution can be blamed for everything from irritability to high blood pressure. There is a rise in the number of people coming to us with hearing-related issues. Studies have shown that if a person is exposed to noise of above 80 decibels for eight hours a day for eight years, s/he can suffer permanent deafness,” said Dr MV Jagade, ENT surgeon at JJ hospital, who has also been working on creating awareness on the health implications of noise pollution.
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Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.