Citizens' Issues
Freedom from noise pollution will be true independence
Last week a person who gives out on hire his Dolby music truck for marriages and other functions used a vacant plot near our house to test his equipment. The heavy dose of bass that he blasted from his truck towards our house made me sick to the core. Such loud music is a common occurrence in cities and small towns of India, more so during the various religious festivals like Ganpati, Dussehra and the like. This noise pollution is further exacerbated by firecrackers during Diwali and marriage festivals.
 
Similarly, some years ago I had gone to attend a friend's son's marriage in Mumbai. The drums were beaten so loudly that it caused palpitations in my heart and despite completely covering the ears with my palms, the noise penetrated deep inside the body and I suffered a momentary loss of hearing. 
 
Noise-wise, India is one of the most polluted countries in the world. The data on noise pollution is scarce, but whatever little exists for India shows that in most cities the noise reaches dangerous levels.
 
Sound intensity levels or noise levels are described in decibels (dB) with a logarithmic increasing scale and they double up with every 10 dB increase. Thus, the noise level at 40 dB is twice as loud as that at 30 dB.
 
The sound level of normal human conversation is between 40-50 dB and that of rock or loud music concert is on an average 140 dB. Thus, rock music is approximately 500 times louder than the human conversation.
 
Recent data shows that some of the Indian cities have noise levels greater than 75 dB and in peak traffic jams the deafening sound of horns blowing can reach 100-120 dB. Poor traffic sense, lax patrolling by police and bad roads exacerbate the noise pollution further. Medical data also shows that around 6-7 per cent of India's population is deaf though the actual numbers maybe much higher since most people never get tested for deafness. 
 
Effect on health
 
Scientists have shown that all sound levels greater than 85 dB are dangerous to human health. In the long run, they damage hearing and increase the level of stress. Large scale studies all over the world have shown that increased sound levels cause elevated blood pressure, loss of sleep, increased heart rate, cardiovascular constriction and changes in brain chemistry. 
 
I feel the increase of anger and aggression in the city population is probably due to the noise pollution.
 
We hear sound through our ears where the pressure waves (sound) are converted into electrical signals and these signals are processed in the auditory centres of the brain. However, when the sound is loud enough it also has the ability to pass through the human skull - the thinnest among all animals - and reach the brain directly.
 
Various scientific studies worldwide have shown the effect of mechanical forces on the working of the brain. Under various mechanical stresses, the brain chemistry gets altered, thus affecting neuron communications and general functioning of the brain. Loud noise vibrations passing through the skull can therefore easily affect the brain -- the softest tissue in the human body. In some ways, the effect of a very loud sound may be similar to head trauma injury. 
 
Nature has evolved so as to take into account all the forces impinging on a body and I am sure that this pressure wave passing through the skull affects the brain directly.
 
Music affects humans profoundly. Great music lifts the mood, is a balm to the soul and can have profound effect on the wellbeing in the long run. We still are not sure how music affects the whole brain since the auditory centres occupy only a small portion of the brain. However, sound vibrations creating mechanical stresses in the brain may provide an answer.
 
Similarly, "ugly and loud" sound may affect the whole brain and in the long run may have profound detrimental effects on human health. Even music, which may be soothing at low volumes, becomes cacophonous when played loudly.
 
Loud music has the same detrimental effect on nerves as multiple sclerosis. It destroys the insulation of nerve cells which go from the ear to the brain. It is not necessary that only loud music heard in the open affects our health; even headphones with loud music have the same effect.
 
I feel the stress, foul mood and general aggressiveness comes from continuously being exposed to loud music. The young population, which is constantly chatting or hearing music via headphones is very susceptible to this phenomenon.
 
Another way by which sound pollution affects our health is by creating sleep deprivation. Because of sound pollution at night, we do not get deep sleep. Studies the world over have shown that without deep sleep the detoxification of brain does not take place; thereby creating long-term stress which affects all aspects of mental and physical health. 
 
Studies have also shown that not only humans but also animal health has been adversely affected by sound pollution. The beaching of whales and dolphins has been linked to sonar experiments during various military exercises in oceans around the world. Similarly, biologists have found urban noise pollution affects adversely the communication signals of songbirds. 
 
We just celebrated our 70th Independence Day. However, I feel the true independence will be when we get freedom from noise pollution. Then only will we get on the path of emotionally happy and sustainable living in India.
 
Disclaimer : Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

User

COMMENTS

R Choksi

3 months ago

I have been doing my bit on an indivisual level in fighting noise pollution since over over three and a half years. I have stopped honking since January 2013, whether I drive anywhere in Mumbai, National Highways, Gujarat cities like Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Bharuch, Navsari, etc. I have just stopped pressing the horn button. Instead I press brake pedal.

Narendra Doshi

3 months ago

Completely agree with the entire contents. Only thing, you cannot get independence from the sound but it must be regulated and within limits that should get publicized , with corresponding heavy penalties and fines by monitoring authorities. Awaz foundation has achieved a lot in Mumbai but more is necessary. I have experienced house windows vibrating with a noise. It's really troublesome for especially the medical child/adult/grand adults undergoing any treatment.

SRINIVAS SHENOY

3 months ago

What do you think?... Write your comments Considering the hazards of noise pollution, which is generally ignored in our country, mainly due to ignorance, I fully concur with your final statement aptly said that the true independence will be when we get freedom from noise pollution. Then only we will get on the path of emotionally happy and sustainable living in India.

S A Narayan

3 months ago

Entirely agree with this. Despite awareness amongst many people and despite a lot good work being done by NGOs like Awaaz Foundation, the general attitude to sound pollution amongst the lay public, beat police, police patrol vans and of shopkeepers is one of indifference. I have seen loudspeakers blasting during public festivals when the sound outside street shops, near vendors etc is unbearable, but the proximate people do not even request the festival organisers to tone down the volume(maybe out of unessary fear). Even the loudspeaker system operator is impacted but he does not feel discomfort at the sound levels. I sometimes think its the constant exposure to sound which has inured their hearing and so they need even greater sound for normal interactions.I have observed many residents from low and middle income areas and slums etc talk very loudly even amongst themselves. The mad clamour for celebratory events by the younger generation and children invariably means deafening beats and music , unthinking of their effects on others around. For these reasons I dread every festival!

Will a New Law To Check Pyramid Schemes Work?
In September 2015, the standing committee of parliament for finance came up with a hard-hitting report on illegal chain-money schemes and the use of multi-state cooperative societies to launder money (Moneylife, issue 26thNovember 2015). The committee’s report came in the wake major chit fund scandals across Bengal, Orissa, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Its conclusion was exactly what the direct selling industry has been lobbying for, over the years: To create a regulatory framework and compulsory registration process for all direct selling businesses, to provide an oversight mechanism and clarity on whether they are legitimate direct sellers or Ponzi/pyramid schemes. The parliamentary standing committee sought three things:
 
1. A comprehensive Central legislation to replace multiple laws, which allow dubious money-collection schemes to slip through the cracks of existing laws, with mandatory registration of businesses.
 
2. Capital adequacy requirements for money-pooling companies, capping commissions for garnering deposits at 2% and a deposit-linked insurance cover.
 
3. Extension of the scope of special courts provided for in the recently enacted Securities Laws (Amendment) Act, 2014, to deal with Ponzis and money-circulation schemes.
 

Latching on to these recommendations, direct sellers, along with the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce of India (FICCI) and consulting firm KPMG, have produced an industry report, a White Paper and even a draft legislation called the “The Regulation of Direct Selling and Pyramid Schemes Prohibition Bill, 201X”.The White Paper is an excellent elucidation of issues and the difficulty in distinguishing between the ‘good guys’ running legitimate direct selling companies, and the ‘bad guys’, running fraudulent Ponzi and pyramid companies that are destroying peoples’ lives and savings. But does the draft legislation proposed by IICA meet its own objective of legitimising direct sellers and prohibiting Ponzi schemes? 
 
The White Paper says that the direct selling industry, estimated at Rs7,200 crore (in 2012-13, according to a KMPG report), was growing at 20%pa (per annum) until 2013-14 after which growth dipped to 4.3%. While the report provides no details of how it arrived at the numbers, we know that this was the period when the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) cracked down on scores of collective investment schemes (Saradha, Alchemist, Rose Valley, MPS Greenery, PACL/Pearls were the prominent ones). It was in 2012 that a landmark Supreme Court (SC) judgement trigged a series of events that landed Subrata Roy, chairman of Sahara Pariwar, in jail. This was also when the country-head of Amway faced arrest after a crackdown by the Andhra Pradesh police while systematic action was initiated against the QNet group in Mumbai and elsewhere. Many of them claimed to be multi-level marketing (MLM) schemes with dubious products or chit funds. Pearls, for instance, sold units of land which, apparently, was just a dream. 
 
The IICA paper makes a strong pitch for direct sellers on the grounds that it provides self-employment opportunities and empowers women. It also wants the government to put them categorically outside the ambit of the Prize Chits and Money Circulation Schemes (Banning) Act of 1978 which envisages a total ban on schemes that involve recruitment of new members. According to the White Paper, the ‘key identifier’ between a legitimate direct seller and an illegal Ponzi is that the latter “depends on mere recruitment (of distributors) for revenue.” It says, if “members are incentivised to make product sales (in addition to recruitment) the business model will defy classification as a pyramid scheme.” The Paper goes on to describe various ways in which pyramids pass themselves off as direct sellers and ‘cloak revenue’ by collecting deposits in the form of joining fees, renewal of membership charges, etc. The question is: Who will take on the job of studying the nature and intent of each scheme and breaking up its sales numbers to weed out illegitimate Ponzis? 
 
Unfortunately, a government-funded organisation, like the IICA, is happy to endorse the many obfuscating commission plus recruitment models (binary, forced matrix, uni-level and stair-step plans, etc) which are at the root of the false claims and fraudulent practices adopted by distributors to ensnare new recruits. In a country with low financial literacy, like India, a single, upfront commission model should be the first bit of reform that we require. The draft legislation proposes the creation of a new independent regulator called the ‘Controller of Direct Selling’, who will have the power to grant registration (it recommends mandatory registration of all direct sellers), cancel registrations, impose restrictions on business, address consumer complaints, oversee operations of direct selling companies and also take on the job of consumer education and awareness. In short, it will be an independent regulator that will work under the ministry of consumer affairs which has hardly covered itself in glory for its regulatory abilities.
 
Firstly, the Controller will be tasked with the responsibility of studying the structure and nature of each direct selling company to weed out pyramid schemes masquerading as direct sellers. This will create another sprawling regulatory bureaucracy. Secondly, it will require a huge inspection and enforcement machinery to monitor whether all the pious rules of doing business, fixing fees and remuneration, redressing grievances and eschewing prohibited practices spelt out by the draft law are, indeed, implemented. Otherwise, the new law will be largely toothless like the Prize Chits statute where the police begin investigations only after consumers are cheated and the complaints against a particular entity mount considerably. 
 
Thirdly, the legislation wants the Controller to have the powers of a civil court under the code of civil procedure. More importantly, it seeks the exclusion of jurisdiction of civil courts on hearing, or granting an injunction on, all issues that are under the Controller’s regulatory ambit. It is hard to see how this will fly in the current economic environment, especially when the draft Act also says that the new legislation “shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law for the time being in force.” Moreover, the parliamentary committee had suggested the extension of special courts to cover this business and not a concentration of powers under a regulator. Fourthly, there is no mention of capital adequacy requirements on comprehensive deposit-insurance cover that was specifically suggested by the parliamentary committee. Surely, this is too important to be left to the rules framed by the Controller. Capital adequacy requirements have to be met at the time of registration of the new business; but the draft legislation is not very serious about registration either. The punishment for doing business ‘without registration’, or after registration is cancelled, is a mere monetary penalty! 
 
The White Paper has plenty of information on regulation and regulatory regimes around the world. But there is not even a line of analysis on the large-scale misrepresentation, lack of transparency and litany of complaints against large operators, such as QNet and others, that had led to a crackdown by the economic offences wing of the police in several parts of the country. Over the past many years, Moneylife has been the repository of the activities of a variety of pyramid operators. The White Paper would have added to its credibility if it had studied at least 25 reported cases and explained which among them is a direct selling model that requires legitimate protection to do business and which ones would be classified as illegal pyramid structures. If the White Paper cannot provide real-life examples or benchmarks for the Controller to ‘grant registration’ to direct sellers, then it means that the proposed new legislation and regulatory structure is just a façade to protect powerful, multi-national operators without really eliminating any of the shady practices that cheat gullible customers.

User

COMMENTS

Agyat Vyakti

3 months ago

https://qnetindiascam.blogspot.in learn Qnet modus operandi here https://qnetindiascam.blogspot.in

atul gupta

3 months ago


Be ready to fight against QNET/VIHAAN and all your uplines including friend.
Find QNET REFUND PROCESS and COMPLAINT AGAINST QNET procedure as below.
1st Option
If your purchase on product receipts is in INR rupees then with in 30 days of purchase or if your purchase is in USD dollar then with in 7 days you can send email to Qnet customer support for refund otherwise Qnet will deny you refund. Then go to 2nd option which all need to go for even after you get refund to get QNET banned from India and to save our brothers & sisters.
1. Get your IR ID and products receipts first. Both will come to your mail box once your upline register your email id on portal. If email id is given wrong by your friend/upline then first send email to Qnet customer support with copy of Pan Card and ask them to update your email id first. Qnet will confirm you updation of your email id. Then call Qnet support and ask your product purchase details.
2. Send a cancellation mail for both products and IR ID to the support team of QNET with a subject line as "REFUND IN****" provinding all details of transactions and product details.Usually IR number will be like IN4444 and all. Attach scanned PAN CARD and product receipts in the mail to them.
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
3.Once this mail is sent, the support team will create a CRF number and send to Hong Kong team for approvals for the refund request. It will take 20-30 working days for the refund to be processed by Qnet.
4.Meanwhile, mail them or call them on every alternative days for an update. QNET Numbers are :
9900060061,62,64,68-Veronika
9900060605,9148149320Jasvinder
5.Once Refund request is completed ,they ask for the mode of payment. Better go for Money transfer to your account, then you have to send a scanned copy of your cancelled account cheque leaf or bank statement.
6.After 20 working days, you will get your money refunded of the product to your bank account.
7.Rest of money left , you collect from your upline by filing complaint in local police station.

2nd Option
pls all go for 2nd option even if you get money refunded as per option 1 by QNET to ban QNET and save indians.
File written complaint/FIR against your friend and all uplines at local police station and write in complaint that QNET is running money circulation scheme which is banned in india as per prize ,chit and money circulation scheme ,1978. Your uplines will be called by police and they will return you money through QNET or themselves as you can not get refund from Qnet after 30 days are over if products purchased through indian portal and after 7 days if purchased through world portal. Warn your uplines that you are going to file complaint/FIR against them. Besides above process kindly by post or by hand send your complaint to THE DCP, ECONOMIC OFFENSES WING, MANDIR MARG, DELHI also to ban QNET by using format of complaint given below.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByQ-yz2wwceEX3BEV3kxZlNkbDg/view?usp=drivesdk
In your complaint attach uplines photos, mobile numbers, your bank account statement if you transferred money from your account to upline account or cash/DD deposit receipt, pan card, address proof, purchase receipts. Mention in your complaint that meeting took place nearby your home or office otherwise local police will ask you to lodge complaint at police station where actual meeting took place. File complaint at your nearby police station and EOW DELHI both to fight against QNET. Do not sign any affidavit asked by your uplines to give back your money.

REPLY

Agyat Vyakti

In Reply to atul gupta 3 months ago

https://qnetindiascam.blogspot.in learn Qnet modus operandi here https://qnetindiascam.blogspot.in

atul gupta

3 months ago

Madras High Court in 2005 declared MLM as illegal business. Qnet previously known as Goldquest and Questnet have been declared fraudulent companies by SFIO and Parliament of India. Qnet founder Vijay Eswaran is an accused in fraud Goldquest case filed by Chennai police in 2008. MPID Act have been imposed on Qnet and Bombay High Court has declared it as nothing but money circulation as per PCMS Act. Enforcement Directorate has registered a case and Economic Offenses Wing Mumbai has arrested few leaders like Ram Singh of Qnet Infiniti group. Lookout circular issued against Infiniti leaders like Sachin Gupta, Kavita, Sharfun Shaikh, who have fled to places like Dubai. CERT has blocked Qnet websites under Court’s order. CB-CBI of Andhra Pradesh shut down Questnet and case is going on in court. Govt of Andhra Pradesh has passed order for attachment of properties of Questnet. Questnet MD Pushpam Appalanaidu has been arrested. Michael Ferriera of Team Faith and shareholder of Vihaan Direct Selling, a franchise of Qnet have been denied anticipatory bail by High Court. Maharashtra CM has assured enquiry into Qnet operations.

Ram Chaudhary

3 months ago

It seem member in this committee from IICA, FICCI and KPMG are like Rahul Gandhi always talking of Women empowerment while they have been empowered (paid) by big Direct Marketing companies who have looted thousands of crores to legitimize their cheating business in India.

REPLY

Agyat Vyakti

In Reply to Ram Chaudhary 3 months ago

https://qnetindiascam.blogspot.in learn Qnet modus operandi here https://qnetindiascam.blogspot.in

Curfew lifted from Kashmir after 51 days
Authorities on Monday lifted curfew from Kashmir after 51 days since the ongoing unrest began on July 9, officials said.
 
"Curfew has been lifted from the entire Valley. But, it will remain in force in Pulwama town and in areas under the jurisdiction of Nowhatta and M.R.Gunj police stations in Srinagar," a senior police official told IANS.
 
The decision to lift curfew was taken at a high level security meeting on Sunday evening, sources said.
 
An all party delegation comprising senior leaders of political parties is slated to visit Kashmir on September 3.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is likely to accompany the delegation.
 
Meanwhile, separatists here continued their protest shutdown despite lifting of the curfew.
 
In a statement issued last week, the separatists have asked people to continue the shutdown until September 1.
 
All senior separatist leaders have been placed under detention in Srinagar city.
 
A total of 71 people -- 68 civilians and three policemen -- have been killed in this present bout of violence that started on July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight.
 
Over 11,000 others including civilians and security personnel were injured during this period.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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