We in India are used to a constant onslaught on the ears; noise pollution is so much a part of our day-to-day life that we have taken it for granted, not realizing the health implications. Thus in a country where honking incessantly is a norm, we read with great wonder about a super market chain in UK planning one-hour a week as “quiet hour.”
The ‘quiet hour’ is for those customers who struggle with the noise associated with grocery shopping, like those on the autism spectrum. Every Saturday morning from 9 to 10, each of Morrisons’ nearly 500 stores will dim the lights and shut off music. They’ll also try and deaden the cacophony of sounds that pervade supermarkets across the world—checkout beeps and the clangs of carts and baskets will be minimized as much as possible, and public-address announcements will be eliminated.
The super market chain is doing this with the support of National Autistic Society. Those having autism cannot process so many sensory data at one time and for them, shopping in a loud super market is a stressful experience.
It is great that so much empathy is being shown to a challenged sector of the population; in India sadly, they are still stigmatized and ridiculed, forget being treated as humans. But on another note, really, noise is one thing which silently kills and impacts our mental health. Half the stress we have is on account of this noise….think about it, be mindful to the noise around you and then you will get the point.