Bengaluru: Schoolers' no honking campaign yields positive results
Students and organisers noticed that the noise levels had considerably dropped during and post the campaign.
BENGALURU: "Please have some civic sense. Avoid honking in traffic Jams."
"Follow the traffic rules, no honking near school zone."
Students from a school in Benglauru have been perturbed by the constant noise during school hours, this becomes worse for students who are scheduled to have their board exams this year.
After being plagued by severe noise pollution from vehicles that ply beside their school, schoolers of St Joseph's Indian High School, at Vittal Mallya road got onto the streets with placards urging drivers and riders to not honk around the school premises. Students and organisers noticed that the noise levels had considerably dropped during and post the campaign.
"We needed it the most because we lose our concentration in class and were not able to completely understand the theory the teacher was explaining," said Jayanth S, from class 10.
"Due to the noise, both, teachers and students lose concentration. This campaign was meant to bring awareness to people and make them realise that it creates a nuisance. There was a good response from people and most of them appreciated and understood that honking near schools and hospitals is prohibited," said A. Akash Phillippo, class 10 student.
Prajwal V, a class 10 student who has earlier participated in an stop air pollution campaign at cubbon park pre covid, said that the purpose of the no honking campaign was to create awareness about a silent zone near the school and hospital that is located adjacent to it. "The road by the school gets jammed and we face terrible noise pollution often," he said, adding that the campaign was well received by motorists who took pictures of students and cheered them.
The one hour campaign has brought down the decibel level of the noise substantially, as per Rajkumar Dugar, Convenor, CITIZENS FOR CITIZENS (C4C) Bengaluru that collaborated the campaign.
He said similar campaigns were held earlier — the awareness drive at GPO circle had reaped a reduction of 7-8 decibels after the campaign on September 29. Another drive was organised at Lalbagh west gate too.
Dugar said that this time, his alma mater was roped in for the campaign and the need was also felt by the latter.
Fr Cyril Menezes, SJIHS Principal told TNIE that this is the first of its kind campaign that the school undertook, 120 students were seen in participation for the one hour campaign, coordinated by the eco-club, to create an awareness that honking disturbs and also creates anxiety. “Hospitals and schools are supposed to be silent zones and horns are meant to alert people and prevent accidents but now its become a nuisance,” he added.
Students themselves were involved in creating placards that were displayed by the roads to motorists.
Dugar who is the alumnus of the school said that the problem is prevalent there, and hopes that the campaign takes place at regular intervals "Because most educational institutes are unaware of the law, such a campaign makes sense. It benefits the students and motorists so they know they are not supposed to honk here."
Rashmi who is a teacher at the school said the school is situated in the heart of the city we get to heart honking sound which disturbs the class. "We were happy to collaborate with c4c which came in at the right time. Although we were apprehensive at start, we got a positive response from the public and most gave us thumbs up, and people stopped honking. Noise pollution is something we ignore, and we don’t notice it, but it has the same effect of air and water pollution.”
"With the increase in the number of vehicles hitting the street post the 19 months since the pandemic, noise levels on roads have increased drastically, and perhaps feels much more than the pandemic after a period of relative quiet,” said Abhishek J, a motorist. Other motorists including rickshaw driver Mahesh who has mounted a LED light on said that the problem is with the roads, and now every other vehicle has a high beam light to venture around small alleys that are completely dug up.