Self-portrait image captured by a camera, popularly known as Selfie, can be dated back to 1839 when Robert Cornelius, an American, took a selfie. Since then, we have indeed come a long way. But what started as something innocent and fun has now turned into something deadly and dangerous. For this we can thank technology and the introduction of smartphones, selfie sticks, and last but not the least, the do or die streak of our youth.
According to a recent survey, it has been found that 259 people, mostly under the age of 30, have lost their lives while taking a selfie at dangerous places between the years 2011 and 2017. Unfortunately, the maximum number of selfie deaths are in India and they are mostly related to heights, water bodies and vehicles. Be it trying to take selfies on electric poles, a selfie at the last minute in front of an approaching speeding train, at the edge of steep slopes, or even with wild animals, the selfie craze is such that some are going all out for it and thus end up committing selfiecide.
Keeping the dangerous trend of selfie deaths in mind, the experts have recommended “no-selfie-zones” in India to stop this tragic phenomenon. The Centre has now intervened and asked the State governments and UTs of India to identify spots which are not safe and to declare them as “no-selfie-zones”. The Centre has directed the state governments and UTs to safeguard the tourists by following certain guidelines. This includes posting volunteers and police at the identified spots, barricading the dangerous spots, and informing the tourists about the possible danger through the public address system. Social media is also being used to spread awareness among the public.
Following the cue, Mumbai police have proclaimed 16 “no-selfie-zones” in some of the major tourist spots after innumerable deaths and injuries. Among these zones are the major tourist attractions of Girgaum Chowpatty beach and Marine Drive promenade. Also included in the “no-selfie-zone” is Bandra Bandstand from where a girl recently slipped and fell to her death while clicking a selfie.
Goa followed close at heels and has identified 24 “no-selfie-zones” along the coastline after two tourists were swept away by large waves while trying to take a selfie on the rocky outcrops in the ocean. “No-selfie-zones” include all the beaches in North Goa namely, Baga River, Dona Paula Jetty, Sinquerim Fort and beaches such as Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim, Ashvem, Arambol, Querim, and between Bambolim and Siridao. In South Goa the beaches including Agonda, Bogmalo, Hollant, Baina, Japanese Garden, Betul, Canaguinim, Palolem, Khola, Cabo De Rama, Polem, Galgibaga, Talpona and Rajbagh have been marked as unsafe.
With a surge in domestic tourism, there has been an increase in selfie deaths and injuries. It is time to spread awareness among the people, especially the youth. “No-selfie-zones” will certainly help reduce this deadly phenomenon, if implemented properly, and if people are smart enough to follow it.
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