Chandigarh, January 16, 2010: For many Chandigarhian’s who’re so used to noise of honking while driving on city roads, they found themselves today amidst hundreds of young boys and girls carrying banners, placard, pasting stickers on vehicles and distributing flyers with message of ‘No Honking’. The occasion was observance of a ‘No Honking Day’ in Chandigarh jointly by volunteers of Yuvsatta, State Cell of NSS, Chandigarh Traffic Police, KB DAV-7 Sr. Sec. School, The Gurukul, Panchkula, Gurukul Global School, Department of Environment, Chandigarh Administration. They all joined together to promote calm and peace on roads and pave way for a noise free environment. The programme was also supported by “Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited” as State Level Coordinator for UT Chandigarh for promotion of an ‘Oil & Gas Conservation Fortnight.”
Organized for the first time any where in north India, No Honking Day programme started with a bicycle rally in which more than 300 NSS volunteers with placards of ‘No Honking’ pedaled from Parade Ground to Sukhna Lake. The young participants were from NSS units of Govt. Model Sr. Sec. School, Sector 23 A, 22 A, 18, 21 A and Govt. Sr. Sec. School, Sector 15. The rally was flagged-off by Ajoy Sharma, IAS, Special Secretary Finance and Director, Higher Education plus Vijay Kumar, DSP (Traffic), Amit Mehra, Sr. Regional Manager, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bikram Rana, State Liaison Officer, NSS were also present on the occasion.
Giving information about the campaign and while honouring best volunteers of the day Ishwar Singh, IFS, Conservator of Forests and Director, Department of Environment shared that the unnecessary honking on roads in the city not only causes noise pollution but also adds to increasing number of road-rage instances in the city.
Another important initiative during the day was an awareness drive at almost all important traffic light points of the city by another 500 NSS volunteers & students from College of Arts, GCG-11, Govt. College of Education, Dev Samaj College of Education, Postgraduate Government College, Sector 11, KB DAV Sr. Sec. Public School, The Gurukul, Panchkula & Gurukul Global School. Students carried placards, passed out stickers and pamphlets, and chanted “Jeevan mai hai kitna, shor, mat do horn par itna jor”. Students also informed those in vehicles to please not honk unnecessarily. Students enjoyed participating in the awareness campaign. Babita, one of students from Dev Samaj College of Education said “That over 1/3 of the population suffer from noise pollution and we must stop this unnecessarily honking. Before many people did not wear seat belts, but many now do. We can also hope that noise pollution can vanish. We need to do even more awareness and campaigns to make this happen.”
These students interacted with people driving on roads asking them to not honk unnecessarily and observe special silence while crossing intersections, Schools, Colleges, Hospitals and in the night. Not only did they manage to send a message but also created so much joy. Huge smiles were every where from the traffic police, auto rickshaw drivers, and many others. The traffic light at Kisan Bhawan was not working but the campaign charged ahead due to the support of the traffic police who were next to the girls and got the traffic to stop. It was much quieter today at Kisan Bhawan. Many of those that stopped also did not honk.
According to Parmod Sharma, Coordinator of Yuvsatta and main organizer of the initiative in days to come they’ll organizing more such activities to realize the aim of a ‘Peace-city Chandigarh’.