Safety standards are for saving precious lives, so not meant for Indians …

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I look out of the window of my fifteenth floor apartment in Jersey City, the close but not so upmarket neighbor of New York City . It’s 12:30 pm, break time in the school just across the road. The kids are playing in the summer sun. Since the school does not have a playground the kids come out on the road in front of the school to play. The entire area has been cordoned. Security guards stand on duty to stop any vehicle from passing while the kids play peacefully.

There is a sudden cacophony in the air that tells me it’s 3:30 pm, time for the school to wind up. The kids rush out gleefully, the road is once again barricaded; security folks at guard to ensure the school children board their buses safely. The barricades are removed once all school children leave the premises. A van or two of the police is always doing the rounds. All care taken that kids don’t experience any inconvenience. Accidents due to negligence are something people don’t seem to know in this part of the world.

My heart goes out to the families of the 24 students of VNR Vijyana Jyothi Institute of Engineering college who lost their lives in a recent tragedy when they were caught off guard by the sudden release of water from Larji dam.

Young lives which could have been much more than
becoming a victim of departmental negligence.

Such negligence is not uncommon in India. It is not a one-off case that should be endured and forgotten. Road, rail, fire, electricity, food –the concept of safety just does not exist. Just a few days ago the nation celebrated the victory of the BJP government. The unequivocal verdict of the people of India revealed how much the public craved for good governance.

A look through the BJP manifesto reveals that there is no focus or as much as any thought on safety measures being upped or enforced. Just brings to light that our society just doesn’t pay any attention to safety of any kind.

Open pot holes, hanging mesh of electricity wires on the streets, overcrowded speeding buses, drivers flouting speed regulations on the road, stray animals in the midst of high speed traffic, no fire safety equipment in public places, builders flouting construction safety standards, adulterated food, fruits artificially ripened with harmful chemicals, no hygiene standards in ‘starred’ restaurants, easy availability of explosives, acid and prohibited chemicals. An average Indian goes through at least one of these in a day. Survival in my country I sometimes feel is no less than a miracle.

No amount of economic development is good unless social standards are met. It is sad to see that India does not have a set of protocol or any kind of enforcement of safety standards.

First of all we need to have a stringent set of safety guidelines, stringent standards, periodic inspections and even stricter punishments for the defaulters. Valuing life and social awareness on the importance of being cautious are some things we need to build in our psyche.

‘Achche din’ cannot come unless we start understanding the value of human life.

Written by Richa Paul >>

Live in New York, Indian at heart.

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Indian Exponent: Safety standards are for saving precious lives, so not meant for Indians …
Safety standards are for saving precious lives, so not meant for Indians …
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