News came in recently of national level Athlete Pooja Kumari drowning in Bhopal, while taking a selfie near a pond. She was a steeplechase athlete, who was returning after her practice session when this tragedy took place. Pooja and her two friends stopped at a pond to admire the fish, when she slipped and fell into the water body. She did not know how to swim. Unfortunately, her friends did not know how to swim either. They ran to the nearest hostel to get help but it was too late, as reported by NDTV.
Another case was reported in Uttar Pradesh, where one man drowned at the Tanda waterfall at Mirzapur. In Kanyakumari, a couple drowned while taking a selfie. In Mumbai too, there have been many such cases where young boys and girls have lost their lives to this social trend of selfies.
According to a survey, The Telegraph reported that as of February 2016, India had recorded more selfie-related deaths than any other country. Especially in Mumbai, a 2014 study found out that two out of every 1,00,000 people were selfie-takers. While this number may seem too small to you; in a country like India, whose population is in billions, this figure increases profoundly.
We have seen many ridiculous trends on social media but a perfect selfie with a perfect background that is bound to get 300 likes on your timeline and costs you your life, HAS to be the most risky one for sure. Are we dealing with a new age peer and social pressure that leads to takings risks where the odds of you failing are pretty high?
This does not seem like a national debate topic, and doesn’t need to be of course because this needs to go under Life Lesson 101 – Stay Safe. This is where government laws do not and cannot help you, but what your parents taught you when you were growing up – to be alert, attentive and careful. I don’t mean any disrespect to any of those who have lost their lives trying to follow the social trend and keeping up with the generation, but this is a message to those who think it is okay to let a concept take over your life. Now this might seem like an exaggeration, but did you overlook the fact above? – India had recorded more selfie-related deaths than any other country. Does it have to be with our literacy rate, which was at 74% in 2011? Does is have to be with the fact that India has a large population of smartphone users who find ways to utilise the features on their phone? Or does it have to be with the fact that we have no opinion and will blindly follow whatever the trend suggests?
It breaks my heart, honestly, to read such news because these are tragedies that could have very well been avoided. We are debating about bomb blasts, feminism, dalits, reservations and what not, but we are also dealing with the problems of simple whims that are taking lives away. Something to ponder about, isn’t it?
Stay alert, stay careful.
( Views are personal)
Feature Image Credit: zeenewsindia.com