Have you ever felt like bashing that driver who is incessantly honking behind you even though there is practically no space for your vehicle to move an inch? Have you ever wanted to have a remote that could mute the honkers of all the vehicles around you when stuck in traffic? Do you leave home during peak traffic hours and arrive at office irritated and mad because of all that infernal noise on the way? Do you feel like smashing those loudspeakers which have been blaring incessantly into the night?

If yes, read on.

Among pollution concerns of air, water, land, and noise, noise pollution is the one that has the potential for the most damage to humans and wildlife. It is a hidden health hazard that impacts our physical, psychological and intellectual well being. Have you ever realised that our ears never shut down, even while we are sleeping? The input is therefore constant.

This is how much noise things around us generate day in and day out. What is your noise threshold? Check your decibel quotient:

Rustling leaves- 10db
Stereo - 90db
Whisper - 30 db,
Bagpipes - 90-110db
Normal speech - 60 db,
Power Saw - 100db
Television - 70 db,
Fire Cracker - 115-120db
Traffic - 75-80 db,
Rock concert -120db
Blow dryer - 85 db,
Gunshot/Train/Jet -150db
Noisy hall - 85 db
Classroom - 85 db

Our ability to hear is one of our greatest senses that connects us to the world around us. Without sound, the world becomes a lonely, frightening place. But when sound becomes noise of intolerable decibel levels, it can harm our well being. Excess stimulation from sound can overload our nervous system that may result in many negative health symptoms, including loss of hearing. The Environmental Protection Agency says that exposure to 70 decibles of sound in a 24 hour period is safe.

Other then debilitating physical and psychological effects, noise pollution can result in decreased learning capacity, memory loss, poor language skills, decreased speech development, decreased academic performance and decreased cognitive ability. Damage to health begins at 75 db. Hearing damage begins at 90 db and can be permanent with one exposure of 120 db or more. The average decibel levels at a high school are 70-86, where damage to physical, psychological and communicative health begins.

How can we stop the constant bombardment to our ears and protect our overall health?

No honking!

We can sign up for 'No Honking, Pleazzz'.

Think about it, noise pollution is a concern to all of us, but we are just taking it all in our stride with a pinch of Solpa adjust maadi attitude. Noise pollution in Bangalore can be brought down considerably if we all join hands together and work towards a noise-free, calm Bangalore.

I'm looking for leaders who can help my community project in saving Bangalore from noise pollution. I am trying to tie up with the traffic police to introduce a ‘No Honking Day’ in the city. I am sure with co-operation and active participation from environment and health conscious individuals, the initiative will take off and go a long way in creating awareness about the issue and fostering a generation of responsible citizens.

Until then, let us begin in a small way at our own levels by refraining from honking while driving and at traffic signals, keeping our TV, radio and stereos volumes low and registering our protest when blaring loudspeakers during public functions disturb the peace and quiet of the neighbourhood.