Winter tragedies

Published at January 07, 2019 12:22 AM 0Comment(s)3549views

Winter tragedies

Tragic death of five members of a family including two kids from Tanghdar, who died due to asphyxiation, became the cause of grief and sorrow in the Valley on Saturday. The family had rented a room near SKIMS hospital Bemina as an elder member of the family was undergoing treatment at the hospital. On the cold winter night when most parts of Kashmir received year’s first snowfall, the five slept leaving a gas heater on not to wake up again. The tragic episode on Saturday was followed by another incident of a man from Bandipora slipping to death while clearing snow. The twin tragedies need attention of the administration more than condolences and relief. In the years preceding cable television and social media, extensive awareness campaigns on different issues of public interest used to be broadcasted in the state. Just before the onset of winters, awareness programmes on fire hazards caused by Kangri, heating appliances or electric short-circuits were beamed regularly. The administration used to take care of it as it was its deemed to be its responsibility to keep the people safe in the state. Today, with new media revolution having disintegrated the platforms into a number of information channels, it has become necessary for the administration to reach out to the people in a different way. Perhaps with an extensive campaign on use of heating appliances including gas heaters in a proper and safe manner, the tragedy might have been averted. Even advisories regarding the safety of the people in the wake of snowfall and clearing the snow might have saved the life of the Bandipora man. The first question that the officials of state administration need to ask themselves is whether they have tried to explore different communication channels to reach out to the people and whether they had put any effort in coming up with the needed content/advisories to save precious lives in the state. In the last few weeks there have been several incidents of fires damaging properties worth lakhs. Restricting itself to the role of firefighting, which is reaction based and post tragedy, than pre empting to prevent possible disasters, the administration is guilty of its irremissible approach. Public Advisory doesn’t mean to put up few lines or a catchy phrase before the people. Ignorance as well as complacence are twin evils that can wreak havocs, and the state administration must keep on informing the people on safety issues. It is the administrators’ job.             


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