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The noise pollution joke that no one in India seems to care about

It’s lovely that sports initiatives have made the world a playing field for kids these days. Former Manchester United centre-back, Rio Ferdinand, and Robbie Savage visited Gurgaon as part of a BT Sports initiative.

And while all seems as planned on the sports workshop front, a short video Rio shared on Facebook, gives us something to think about. Indian traffic discussions also veer towards accidents or air pollution, but never so much noise pollution. The self-shot video is short and without agenda, but we see Rio explain, “In Delhi, this is nuts. The noise is a joke.”

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The noise… This is nuts! What a place #RiRoInIndia

Posted by Rio Ferdinand on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It’s sad though, no one realises the seriousness of this joke. Noise pollution has become a way of life. Even if you were driving down quietly, someone behind you is likely to jolt you into noticing them by incessantly blowing their horn to sort of informally ask you to move faster, or make way. The horn is also an obstinate signal to signify I’m coming through, and I ain’t stopping at the signal, so, move away all.

In regards to the quality of pollution ensuing from vehicular use in India, most important discussions are limited to health effects owing to pollutants. In this regard, noise pollution isn’t something that bothers people as much, if at all.

People compensate, and speak over the noise, getting louder and more annoying but the persistence does pay off. Blowing the horn isn’t frowned upon but is a game you could win if you mastered the nuances. Blowing the horn is also assumed to be some magical way to get cars traffic ahead of you to move away, or to start moving. There’s no clarity on why traffic rules and signals were unknowingly adapted for noise pollution. In fact, just before the signal turns green, you’re likely to find a large number of vehicles waiting at a signal start unnecessarily blowing their horns almost to signal change.

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