Safety First

Wednesday, 05 August 2020

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Editorials

Safety First

Swapnil Bharali | January 25, 2020 14:32 hrs


The week saw one of Guwahati’s biggest tragedies where a fire accident killed two young kids as they remained trapped in the first floor of their home. The fire that started from a leaking gas burner apparently spread a bit too rapidly such that nothing at all in that household could be salvaged. The youngsters, aged just 8 and 3, stood no chance and were consumed by the raging inferno sending the city into a pall of gloom. We offer prayers from G Plus that their souls find eternal peace and that God give their parents the strength to come to terms with their great loss.


The incident serves as a reminder that we Guwahatians take our safety for granted in all instances and throw caution to the winds in our regular life. We do not think twice about driving rashly or under the influence of liquor, about scaling the new road dividers in the middle of the busy and fast-moving traffic of GS Road and MG Road and even about firing Diwali crackers in congested localities despite several fire accidents in the past. Also and very often, maintaining fire extinguishers at home is the last thing on our minds.


In fact, talking of fire extinguishers, it is pertinent to note that a huge percentage of shops in the busy and congested Fancy Bazar (where fire tenders find it difficult to manoeuvre during fire emergencies) do not have or maintain this basic safety equipment even today. Just no lessons learnt from the massive fire incident during the Diwali of 2015! 


Clearly, in every aspect of life, Guwahatians need to start laying emphasis on “safety first.” Helmets while riding two-wheelers (both the rider and the pillion) are a safety requirement prescribed by the law and not something to evade a police ticket. Keeping up with the traffic speed is safety requirement; over-speeding is not. Pedestrians using the footpaths and not walking nonchalantly on the street is another aspect. 


There are instances galore that can be cited where Guwahatians really do not care for their own safety and we are often at our wits’ end to make ourselves understand the importance of safety first. I am today wondering how this virtue can be imbibed within us that we can someday consider Guwahati to be a sensitive and safe city for all its residents.

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