'Why are citizens treated like lab rats?' ask activists

Updated: 26 September, 2020 07:41 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Do we want 5G? 'No ji', say city activists joining in the global protest against the technology today

Prakash Munshi along with others holds up placards that will be used for the protest against 5G technology on Saturday. Pics/Ashish Raje
Prakash Munshi along with others holds up placards that will be used for the protest against 5G technology on Saturday. Pics/Ashish Raje

The city's anti-cellphone radiation lobby will join the world to mark the protest against 5G technology today. Activists with various supporters are calling on the government to see that those responsible run tests or studies about the safety of 5G before bringing it into the country.

World voice

Given our times, the campaign will have a virtual thrust. Activists are making banners and placards that will be uploaded on a website, which will be a virtual showcase against impending 5G technology and its harmful radiation. Those against 5G from countries across the globe are sending information and reservations about the technology to the website — team@stop5ginternational.org

Malabar Hill resident Prakash Munshi said, "Our work too will be sent to the same address. First of all, we want to create awareness about 5G. It is not a small step from 4G, but a leap that will have significant adverse effects when it comes to our health."

Munshi added, speaking under the aegis of Citizens For Tomorrow, an initiative of actor Juhi Chawla, working in the environmental space, "Why is the government and industry imposing this untested technology on us? Why are citizens being treated as lab rats? If a new pharmaceutical or vaccine is to be introduced in the market, don't we have lab tests required to prove no harm on rats or rabbits? Take the case of the COVID-19 vaccine itself, as part of which so many tests and trials are being run. Here though, we have a technology with no specific studies done."

He further said that he had a humble request to the cellular industry. "Don't tell lies to amass wealth at the cost of citizens' health. A time will come when there will be no citizens left to use your technology, so then, who will you sell your 5G to?" he questioned.

A balance

For Surjeet Singh Dadiala from Andheri-Lokhandwala, this protest is about, "no scientific studies being done when it comes to effects of 5G. I am not against technology. I understand its importance, especially in these times when we have to be remotely connected. I acknowledge the efforts of the government, managing a 135-crore population, especially during the pandemic. We are told we are fighting a giant, but we have people power and we are resolute. We can fight this to the end and walk to the Parliament to raise awareness, if need be. Let us also keep an eye on cancer, and see how fast it is spreading. Safety studies are a must before blanket permissions are given for mobile towers."

Our future

Anti-cell phone tower radiation protests have been on in Ahmedabad sporadically, since the past few years. "Today, we will be adding our banners to the uprising against 5G. We have been in touch with Mumbai activists, and will be uploading our protest placards too," said Nishith Patel from Ahmedabad.

He added, "We have to be realistic. We know we are against a behemoth industry, but we cannot lose heart and let that be a deterrent for pushing for warnings and awareness." Nilima Basale, campaign coordinator from Thane Citizens for Tomorrow said, "We have no studies on 5G or any other communication technology, assuring us that radiation from these towers is harmless. Yet, we blindly believe industries handing over our future and Generation Next to them."

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First Published: 26 September, 2020 07:41 IST

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