Selfie deaths grab Centre’s attention; govt asks states to identify danger zones, spread awareness
The danger that the selfie-trend poses has finally grabbed the attention of lawmakers, with the government now issuing an advisory to all states and Union Territories to mark selfie-danger zones in tourists sites.
In an advisory issued on Wednesday, the Ministry of Tourism has directed state governments to take steps to avoid the mishaps of selfies at monuments.
“Safety and security of tourists is a prime concern of Ministry of Tourism and this ministry has been advising the States/UT Governments, from time to time, with regard to actions ensuring the safety and security of tourists, which in turn, would go a long way in promoting tourism in the country,” the ministry said.
“In recent times, a number of accidents occurring in the process of taking selfies at accident-prone locations in tourist sites have been widely reported in the media,” it added, issuing a list of guidelines to avoid mishaps.
The ministry has asked the state governments to identify all tourist spots which are prone to accidents and erect signages warning visitors of the danger and also posting of volunteers or tourist police at these places.
The Centre has also advised sensitisation of tourists to the dangers of taking selfies. States have also been asked to spread awareness through social and other media campaigns.
"I have written to all state governments, requesting them to introduce precautionary measures and declare 'Selfie Danger Zones' at tourist sites. We are taking up the issue very seriously," Culture and Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said was quoted by Mail Today on Tuesday.
"I would urge everyone not to risk their lives for taking selfies at any dangerous location," he added.
In 2015, India reportedly had the highest number of deaths among people trying to take selfies – 15 of the total 27 in the world. A Japanese tourist died after he fell from the stairs of the Taj Mahal. In one of the biggest tragedies involving selfies, seven students drowned in a lake in Nagpur after their boat capsized.