It was shocking to hear about the 57 people who were mowed down by a train in Amritsar last month. After reading that mandatory permissions from the municipal corporation were not taken, and the railways were not informed, it appears as if it was a tragedy in the making.
Breaking the law and endangering others is so common, it’s routine. Politicos do it with a brazenness that is shocking.
Another incident last month which underlines this issue was when a young man in the prime of his life was killed after his boat carrying people (one of two boats with politicians, bureaucrats, political workers and journalists) to the under-construction Shivaji statue capsized. The boat did not have the necessary permits, was filled beyond capacity, took the wrong route, did not have a sufficient number of life jackets and lacked the ability to send out distress signals. It was a tragedy waiting to happen.
We see it all around us, don’t we? Safety protocols are not followed. People tend to think that nothing will happen. We can dismiss this attitude by saying that there is no value for life in India but the truth is that everyone values their life, and no one wants accidents to happen and see others die.
Sure, the laxity of the government is a major issue, but that’s the norm. In India, there are a plethora of laws but enforcement of any kind is a pipe dream. We all know that. So let’s take safety into our own hands.
If we can secure our houses with locks and keys, why not wear helmets, follow traffic rules and ensure that safety protocols are followed when we get into a boat, attend an event, see a movie, and try an adventure sport?
And what about the little things like washing our vegetables and fruits to ensure that we wash away the pesticides on them? Or ensuring that we do not expose ourselves to loud sounds which can damage our ears? Or stop bursting crackers which pollute our air? I can think of a hundred things right here. All of these behaviours can affect our safety. Some will have an immediate effect – if an accident happens. Other bad effects take time…so let’s put our imagination to good use.
There is no point in dumping the responsibility of our safety on people whom we will never meet. This planet can be made safe by you and me. And we can make ourselves safe by simply following some common sense rules.