With an aim to spread awareness among Chennai citizens about the ill effects of noise pollution caused by excessive honking, TAFE launched a unique initiative called Voice Against Noise, in association with the Chennai Traffic Police, who had earlier initiated a ‘no-honking’ campaign of their own.
The first stage of the Voice Against Noise campaign was a Facebook poster contest, wherein the public was invited to send in entries in the form of graphic designs, sketches, paintings, and many other forms of art, and these entries were published on the TAFE Facebook page and were up for voting. Voting had a 50% weightage in the contest winning criteria. The other 50% weightage was for jury decisions. The contest from November 22 – 29, and was open for voting till December 1. Post this, entries were screened and given scores by jury members. Facebook ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ were taken into consideration for the above mentioned 50% weightage for voting.
Three winners of the contest won a cool digicam each. Due to the overwhelming response of 100+ entries, the jury felt that six other participants should be given a jury’s choice prize for their excellent submissions.
Thus, the FB contest stirred up a lot of user engagement on our Facebook page and created a lot of buzz about the campaign.
Now that the word was out, it was time for the on-ground activity. With an aim to make this an community inclusive activity, we approached top colleges in and around our Corporate Office to provide us with student volunteers. We received a very enthusiastic response from four colleges, namely Ethiraj College for Women, Stella Maris College, M.O.P Vaishnav College for Women, and Loyola College. These colleges provided us a set of enthusiastic students who were the driving force of the on-ground activity.
The winning posters were printed for display with due credit to the winning participants, and these were distributed to each of these colleges. The students made sure that these posters were put up in places of public interest within a two kilometer radius around their college.
This was just the promotion stage. The execution of the main on-ground activity took place on December 6-7 where students took the cause to the streets of Chennai.
To mentor these college teams, we appointed TAFE volunteers with each team.
Indian Oil Corporation Limited were kind enough to permit us to station our teams in 25 of thier petrol pumps in various main roads all over the city.
Now the teams were set, the locations were set. Through December 6 and 7, the on-ground activity was carried out 26 petrol bunks, the SImpsons Group building at Mount Road, and our Sembium estate near Perambur, where TAFE volunteers solely carried out the activity. Campaign bookmarks carrying information on ill effects of honking, campaign stickers for bikes, car steerings, and bumpers were handed out to each team as part of their campaign kit, which also consisted of campaign T shirts, caps and refreshments.
Once the activity began, volunteers approached motorists at their repsective bunks, and handed over campaign material to them after a brief explanation about the cause, post which the stickers were placed on the motorists’ vehicles, leaving them with a final line ‘Think before you honk’. In a span of two days, our volunteers were able to reach an approximate of 7000 vehicles, which is a very commendable number.
So, the on-ground activity ended on a high-note. We then decided to have a felicitation ceremony for all the participating students, colleges and campaign partners at Hyatt Regency, Anna Salai, on December 10. The chief guests of the occasion were Mr. Mageskumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic – North, and Mr. T R Kesavan, Chief Operating Officer – Product Strategy and Corporate Relations, TAFE.
In this event, contest winners, jury choice winners, student participants, colleges, and supporting authorities were awarded trophies and certificates for their dedicated support and involvement in the Voice Against Noise campaign. The event was followed by lunch.
Overall, the event was a very good exercise, as it brought together various sections of the community for a noble cause.