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Raising a voice against environmental pollution

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Raising a voice against environmental pollution

Sumaira Abdulali founded Awaaz Foundation in 2006 to work on environmental issues such as noise pollution, illegal sand mining, mining in bio diverse forests, marine pollution and oil spills, eco-friendly festivals, protection of trees and on civic issues such as laws on tobacco sale to children.

Using Awaaz Foundation, Sumaira engages citizens as well as administrative, legal, and social structures, such as courts of law, police departments, government ministries, companies and city municipal bodies, on the issue of noise.  She involves media in awareness and action campaigns and organizes meetings and conferences which brings the issues to the officials responsible for devising and implementing solutions.

Mumbai was the only Indian city to record a decrease in noise levels during Diwali for the past several years due to increased awareness through Awaaz Foundation's awareness campaigns in partnership with several leading media outlets. Following Public Interest Litigation filed by Awaaz Foundation, the State Government of Maharashtra commissioned noise barriers, noise mapping studies and policy change including a draft Firecracker Rules and notified Silence Zones in Mumbai.

In 2013, Awaaz Foundation built a participatory citizens' campaign to construct a citizens' noise map of Mumbai using a mobile App called Noise Watch. This spurred the authorities to conduct a formal Noise Mapping Study of Mumbai for use in the Control Plan and Development Control Rules for Mumbai presently under preparation.

She received several awards including the 'Mother Teresa Memorial Award for Social Justice' 2010, Ashoka Foundation Lifetime Fellowship 2008, Moneylife Foundation Womens' Day Award 2010 and many more.

Sumaira's vision is to develop Awaaz Foundation as a national nodal organisation to mentor and facilitate the consolidation of the movement against noise pollution across the country.

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