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It's a Miracle: Techie Travels 15000 km Without a Single Honk!

Monday, June 10, 2019 • Tamil Comments

Bharathi Athinarayanan who was told about the No Honking Campaign by his wife, travelled from Bangalore all the way to his home town near Coimbatore without honking even once. From there he set off to Kerala and again, not a single honk. The techie now also encourages others not to use the horn. He sticks labels on cars and two-wheelers that discourage honking. These include slogans such as ‘No Honking, No Dinging, No Poinging, No Buzzing, No Ringing, No Hooting, No Binging, and NO Boinging.’ Another reads ‘No Honking Unless for Danger.’ 

With sound levels above 135 decibels (dB) on the streets, people are at risk for hearing loss. Hearing damage starts at 90 dB and 120 dB can lead to complete hearing loss. This means that practically every time we step out, we are straining our ears. In order to take action against this, Athinarayanan who is a principal engineer at American Telephone and Telegraph Company, is self-funding his initiative. He says that people are happy to have his stickers on their vehicles and agree to try to stop the behaviour. 

Athinarayanan has truly achieved a feat by travelling more than 15000 km without honking. He did this by setting himself small goals such as 250, 500, 1000 and then 3000 and 6000 kilometers. He honked once recently, but he had a valid reason. He wanted to warn the driver of a school bus of a car coming in the opposite direction. Talking about how he sustains the temptation to press the horn, he said: “I understand everybody is in a hurry to reach somewhere and a driver has to respect that. I remain calm. It’s just a matter of one-two minutes and the way clears." 

He added: "During traffic jams, especially during peak hours, I use the time to think about interesting and creative ideas rather than honking or getting impatient. Most of my interesting work ideas come during traffic jams.” Athinarayanan is a living example of the fact that the way we approach a situation is what matters. Honestly, setting ourselves such challenges would be more beneficial to us and others than the Kiki Challenge or Cockroach Challenge. And it is important to be clear about the intention behind what we're doing i.e. to reduce sound pollution.

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