Even hospital zones, which have the strictest noise cap at 45 decibels, are registering decibel levels between 90 and 117, with no police or government control stepping in. Exposure to noise levels as high as those being recorded at Navaratri celebrations, even for just a few hours, can cause elevation in blood pressure, raise stress levels, and impair hearing. After nine days and nights of noise levels this high, the possibility of suffering from a noise-related health event rises sharply.
And for hospital patients, children, and pets that have no ability to escape the noise, the aftermath can be particularly harsh. Hospital patients exposed to noise levels considerably lower than those being measured at festival locations cause patients to suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders, elevated blood pressure, and stress, all of which impairs healing.
Children exposed to such high decibel levels show a marked inability to focus, and are less able to keep up with school work. The aftermath of noise-induced hearing damage is often irreversible, a serious issue for not only children, but for everyone.
This is not an easy problem to address, as religious festivals like Navaratri are sacred to India’s enormous Hindu population and have been celebrated for centuries. But the noise from firecrackers, music, loudspeakers, crowds and traffic is harming Indian citizens.
This is serious.
Some Indian citizens are taking proactive measures to raise awareness and cut noise pollution, particularly during the many festivals. Many are uploading decibel measuring software to their smartphones, measuring noise levels at a multitude of locations, and filing a complaint with the police. Every year, tolerance for festival noise diminishes, and people are now taking the issue into their own hands.