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Updated: March 26, 2013 10:34 IST

‘Why can’t our mindset change?’

Deepa Kurup
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Uday Vijayan
The Hindu
Uday Vijayan

The tragic factory fire, which killed six workers at a furniture unit here on Monday, is another indicator of all that’s wrong with our attitude towards public fire safety, says Uday Vijayan, who lost his 23-year-old son at the horrific fire at Carlton Towers three years ago. “It’s very unfortunate,” says the 55-year-old management executive who started Beyond Carlton, an advocacy group focussed on fire safety issues.

“Indians simply don’t believe an accident could happen to us. Even after it happens we seem to move on. Whether it’s an employer, employee or a general citizen, we simply don’t learn enough,” he says. He and others in the group have been working with industry bodies to sensitise them of employer liability in the case of such accidents.

“Employers have to realise, especially small and medium ones like this factory, that they have a responsibility towards their employees. And so they cannot afford to be lax on matters of safety,” Mr. Vijayan says.

This is particularly tricky in multi-tenanted properties, as Carlton Towers is, where the ownership is fragmented. “It’s a huge challenge then… some are bothered, some aren’t. We’ve often found owners even dismantling alarms and sprinklers randomly,” he recalls.

Catch ’em young

As part of their work with schools to instil early on among students a sense of public safety and awareness, Mr. Vijayan recalls a session that they conducted among pre-schoolers in a school.

She had all the answers…

“What caught my attention was the fact that one young girl seemed to know all the answers.

She knew, for instance, how to remain attentive, what to do when there’s smoke, how to react if you see your room fill with smoke, things that I didn’t know till Carlton happened to us,” he says.

Later, when he asked around, he discovered that the child had just moved here from Singapore, where she had been taught the drills in detail.

“Why can’t we do this in our schools? With our children, and in our public places? How can we get these mindsets to change so awareness just seeps in across our society?” he says.

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True we do not lean enough from the past incidents. It is bad and also good (As we easily stood up from the massive devastation's).
But now we adopt modern life style and make living in a congested cities. So no good if we do not start learning from the past incidents and make strict law emerged from the past mistakes, such as Fire Accidents, Road Safety , Road Accidents , Getting help when met accident i.e calling Ambulance/Fire fighter/Police.
Strict usage of the ZEBRA crossing / Over-Foot-Bridges / Railway Cross bridges. And no over load with more than capacity for all vehicles (public/private). No triples ride on bike. A strict no for drink & drive. No for Signal jumping. No bike ride with kids below certain age.
also no driving on road without proper training & driving license.
Above all one should follow for better life to all

from:  Madhu
Posted on: Mar 26, 2013 at 12:01 IST
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