18 years of no honking earns Kolkata driver Manush Sanman award
Imagine silence on a road full of cars. Unimaginable? Dipak Das, a Kolkata-based driver, believes it can be achieved, for he has been chosen for the Manush Sanman award for doing just that — not honking for 18 years.
His rare and atypical behaviour has been verified by the organisers of Manush Mela (Humanity Fair), which is giving him the award, from the different organisations with whom Das has been associated with for the last 18 years.
Even renowned personalities like tabla maestro, Pandit Tanmoy Bose and guitarist Kunal, among others, who had hired him as a driver from time to time, have authenticated and appreciated his effort to reduce noise pollution.
Das believes in no-horn policy, and wants to inspire others.
“I think if a driver follows this no-horn policy, he will become more alert while driving. If a driver has proper sense of space, speed and timing, he or she need not use horn,” he says, adding that when passengers ask him to use the horn, he politely tells them that it won’t solve the problem.
Das’s car carries a placard with the words ‘Horn is a concept. I care for your heart’.
The driver, who maintains no-honking policy even while on long trips to Darjeeling or Sikkim, dreams that Kolkata will become a “no-honking city” some day.
“It is not something that cannot be achieved or very difficult to achieve. What is required for this is administrative and political goodwill,” he said.
Sudipa Sarkar, one of the organisers of Manush Mela 2017, told HT that individuals and organisations who hired Das have appreciated his effort, and so he was the natural choice for the award.
This is the second year of Manush Mela where citizens doing something unique for the benefit of the society are felicitated with Manush Sanman Award.
Last year, one of the award recipients was Biva Upadhaya, who despite her financial constraints, took up the mission of rescuing and rehabilitating stray animals.