Schoolchildren join fight against noiseToyoja Upadhyay| TNN | Aug 17, 2016, 12.36 AM IST
Mumbai: Students of Trinity International, Sion (E), and Little Angels High School, King Circle, participated in Times of India's 'No Honking Drive' initiative in collaboration with Awaaz foundation and Times Newspaper in Education (NIE). The sessions were curated by Sumaira Abdulali, founder of Awaaz Foundation, and aimed at educating students about the effects of sound pollution.
The 'No Honking Drive' has been visiting schools as studies show children are most susceptible to excessive sound pollution. The students listened in rapt attention as they began to realize the magnitude of the threat that sound pollution poses.
Deafness, inability to concentrate on academics, aggression and irritation are just some of the symptoms caused by sound pollution. Saisudha Narayan, principal of Little Angels High School, makes it a point to educate her students about the impact of sound pollution.
"It is important that we maintain appropriate decibel levels because the eardrums are incredibly sensitive to noise. Over time, we could lose our hearing and in extreme cases of sound pollution, our eardrums could even burst," she said.
Mumbaikars have a lot to worry about since Mumbai has been declared as the noisiest city in the world according to the WHO. Abdulali said, "While it is true that during festivals and parties we see a steep rise in decibel levels, honking is the biggest contributor to sound pollution since it occurs all year round."
Vinita D'souza, ex-officio secretary of Trinity International, had to make her point over the sounds of blaring horns from the nearby road despite being seated in her air-conditioned cabin. "I try to address sound pollution at every opportunity I get. Schools are supposed to be a part of silent zones but often they are the nosiest spots due to honking and traffic jams caused by school buses, parents' vehicles and, rickshaws, taxis and hawkers. I have made parents take a pledge to address sound pollution. For the students, as an incentive, we have introduced some healthy competition by telling them that whichever house keeps noise to the minimum will be rewarded with points. Hopefully thanks to TOI's initiative, we will see some change."
Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.