Mumbaikars donate ear plugs to cops on duty for Ganpati Visarjan

Zyros Zend with an officer at the Colaba police station
Zyros Zend with an officer at the Colaba police station
A campaign that sees Mumbaikars donating cheerful orange ear plugs to cops readying for Ganpati Visarjan duty

Drums are set to beat, bells are ready to peal and the latest Bollywood numbers will rent the air, on Tuesday, as Mumbai becomes one long Grand Trunk road.

As the city says its goodbye to Lord Ganesh, we will have hundreds of cops on bandobast duty. A trio of Cuffe Parade citizens believes in making the festival easier on the ear for those on duty this Visarjan.

Ruzbeh Raja demonstrates the ear plugs (right) Haresh Hathiramani
Ruzbeh Raja demonstrates the ear plugs (right) Haresh Hathiramani

Haresh Hathiramani, Ruzbeh Raja and Zyros Zend from Cuffe Parade have come together for an ear plug donation drive to cops on duty. These bright orange, cheerful industry level ear plugs, have been bought by pooling in their money and donations received after the word spread on social media about the ear plug donation drive.

Ruzbeh says that the, “bright orange colour is for visibility. The ear plugs, which are priced at approximately Rs 10 each, are corded, so that each ear plug does not get lost. They are industrial-grade and disposable, made from polyurethane foam. The noise reduction is about ~28db, which does not completely cut off sound / hearing.”

Haresh says, “it is important that we appreciate the effort of the police. The plugs are indicative of that, and are manifest of our concern even to the ground level constable to show them that the city cares about their safety. We have a tendency to bash the cops, but what are we, as individuals doing to alleviate their problems? It is time to think and act like we too can change things in an individual capacity.”

No ivory tower
The get-wise-about-noise trio believes that often, “South Mumbai citizens are lumped together as those who live in ivory towers, with their first world problems and little empathy with those that work for us. This is not true. A lot of people want to do good but at times doubt whether, they as individuals, not mammoth corporates, can do anything. Small steps though do count,” they stated.

For Ruzbeh, “the earplugs will protect the hearing of on duty personnel at visarjan points and prevent premature hearing loss.” The orange colour too is not a sartorial statement, though it may go well with khakhi! Ruzbeh adds, “the orange spreads awareness about the health effects of noise pollution by making hearing protection more ‘visible’ because of the bright, eye-catching colour.”

Finally, Ruzbeh says, “it is important to show the state government that cops are faced with an immense occupational hazard, though a safety solution does exist. Mumbai cops are rarely provided safety equipment, although industrial standard safety equipment is cheap and easily available.”

For ear to year
Zyros’s reward came through the happiness of the police personnel when they donated at least 100 ear plugs to the Colaba police station.

In fact, Zyros and Ruzbeh had started this ear plug campaign last year and distributed 400 ear plugs on VP Road, DB Marg, Gamdevi, Colaba and Cuffe Parade police stations. There were also traffic police, BEST and BMC officers on the ground on main Visarjan day cite the trio.

“This year, the campaign is bigger in the form of cash or ear plug donations because there is more awareness on social media,” said Ruzbeh. The three have already got 1,000 ear plugs, with the cash and ear plug donations given to them. Some citizen-donors gave cash, while others physically bought ear plugs and gave it to them.

Besides Colaba police station, they also donated ear plugs to the Cuffe Parade police station on Friday. More will be distributed right through to Visarjan day, say Haresh, Zyros and Ruzbeh. Their thanks came in the form of the police, who were smiling from ear(plug) to ear(plug), at the thought of their city looking out for them.

Rs 10
The approximate price of each ear plug

Published on Mid Day