People living in and around Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali woke to clearer and louder birdsong on Sunday. The national park area was quieter despite the presence of around 300 people near its entrance as the forest department in association with Sanctuary Asia organised a first-of-its-kind silent support demonstration for Mumbai’s forest and its wildlife.
Children dressed as flamingos and other birds as well as volunteers held placards with messages to keep to promote a more noise-free environment inside the park.
Scores of morning walkers were greeted with placards that read ‘The louder you honk, the faster our health will conk’, ‘Shor no more’ and ‘Be silent to enjoy nature’s music’ near the entrance of the park as part of the ‘Shhh! Leave me Alone’ event.
“We want to increase awareness among people about keeping the national park area a noise-free zone. We hope people visiting the park will now follow a code of conduct that involves no honking or loud music or crackers that disturb the wildlife. It was nice to see such a great response from people,” said Vikas Gupta, chief conservator of forests, SGNP.
Around 300 people including forest officials and activists from Conservation Action Trust, Paws, Sprouts, Eco Folks, Vanashakti and students from Valmiki Eco School, Goregaon, took part in the event that took place at 7am.
“We fully expect that this quiet and peaceful demonstration will become a trend across India.
This quiet morning in the park provided great relief in contrast to the din that surrounds us in the mornings while living in the city,” said Bittu Sahgal, editor of Sanctuary Asia.