Thursday, October 01, 2009

Safety Begins With You!

A boat carrying tourist passengers capsized in Thekkady, Kerala killing over 30 people and injuring many. This is not the first time such an incident is happening in Kerala. Couple of times earlier also similar accidents occurred killing so many people. Immediately after each incident, Government of Kerala will set up inquiry committees to investigate the incident, arrest few people and within a couple of days every one will forget about the whole incident. I am sure the accident in Thekkady is also going to end up the same way.

Now if the people travelling in the boat that overturned were wearing life jacket deaths could have been considerably reduced. It is true that these boats never had enough life jackets. Even if they had life jackets, how many of them could have volunteered to wear it after thinking about the risks of going in a boat. I will say a very few could have.

Why am I so pessimistic? So many instances I have seen people neglecting safety precautions. Take for example – wearing helmet while driving two wheelers. Even the High Court of Kerala made it mandatory that all passengers travelling in a two wheeler should wear a helmet. The people travelling in two wheelers protested and even accused the then government of colliding with helmet manufacturers to get commission from them. As a result, that law was not implemented strictly in Kerala. Lot of deaths and injuries that occur every day that involves two wheelers could easily be avoided if people were wearing helmets. Now any person who is concerned about his and his co-passengers safety should be wearing helmet especially after knowing well the conditions of the road and the speed with which we drive on those roads.

Now same case with wearing seat belts in cars - most of the new cars in India have seat belts. How many of us wear that? Lot of us never bother to wear seat belt claiming that it is very inconvenient to wear them inside the car. Yes, it is inconvenient, but if something unexpected happened while driving, this inconvenience may be helping your life and that of your dear ones travelling with you.

Even when “safety measures” are readily available we never use it properly. Our mentality is that “it is not going to happen to me”. This attitude needs to be changed if the casualties related to accidents need to reduce. Always we have to keep in mind – accidents can happen any place at any time. If an accident occurs at a known place and a known time it could have been called an “incident” and not an “accident”. So whatever you do, including things that you do day to day, make sure that you take all possible safety features so as to reduce the intensity of an accident if at all it occurs.

So next time if you are planning to go for a boat ride with your family, never go in one boat that do not have a life jacket. Make sure that the entire family wears the life jacket for the entire time they are in the boat. Initially your partner and kids may be angry at you for enforcing these strict safety measures but at the long run they will surely appreciate it.

Always remember “Prevention is Better than Cure”; Always try to Prevent Accidents by following safety norms so that you don’t have to spend time on “Cure’ for an accident that occurred due to the lack of following safety norms.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

People can buy life jackets and carry with them, if they are concerned about hygiene.

October 01, 2009 2:33 PM  
Blogger jpk said...

In this particular case, there were life jackets in the engine room of the boat. Actually, the wearing of life jackets must be strictly enforced in these boats. One gets puzzled to hear that there were unused life jackets in the boat, unused and new in the packets. What is the purpose of having life jackets like that??

October 01, 2009 7:06 PM  
Blogger Sandal said...

Even if people were wearing life jackets I don't think they will be able to come out if they were in the lower deck. In fact it would be good if we can avoid an
air-tiet lower deck. And I am sure this discussions will go on for a couple of days or weeks and wait for a discussion on disaster that accompanies Thekkady (only result is fingers will get some excercise).
One thing we forget is our panchayat roads eats-up more life than our water, it's around 3 pm at DXB and I see in flash news '4 killed in road accidents...'

October 02, 2009 12:41 PM  
Blogger Vijar said...

It's a sad incident. As you have written strict implementation of rules and awareness amoung people only can help. And I think not only one can make aware one's own family but also one can say to other's who don't follow safety measures not to do so. I think most of the people will obey of a stranger suggests to wear a helmet or life jacket, esp in India.But in most cases a Ram or a Shyam is not concerned about a Sita Or a Gita!!

October 02, 2009 3:30 PM  
Blogger menonpkv said...



October 03, 2009 2:27 AM  
Blogger Brijesh Nair said...


October 23, 2009 4:34 AM  

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