Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir told in Lok Sabha on Tuesday that since selfie related deaths are still being reported from time to time, the Ministry of Tourism must take up adequate measures to ensure tourist safety.
With the increase in expendable income in India, domestic tourism has seen an unprecedented rise and travel selfies arrived as byproduct. With the advent of Instagram hashtags, travel has become less of an experience and more a way of telling the world what you have “achieved” – a brand, a status.
This has given birth to a thirst for social media self-aggrandisation, whereby everybody wants to be recognized as “extreme” and “ultimate”. And how to unlock that? Of course, by risking their lives and taking selfies at the riskiest places, from the oddest angles.
After a recent study on selfie related deaths unveiled shocking figures – 259 deaths in 6 years while clicking selfies – with India topping the charts, the Centre directed all state governments and union territories to notify no selfie zones to prevent such deaths. Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir told in Lok Sabha on Tuesday that since selfie related deaths are still being reported from time to time, the Ministry of Tourism must take up adequate measures to ensure tourist safety.
Leading these efforts by example is Mumbai, followed by Goa. After an 18-year-old woman died in 2016, Mumbai police conducted a survey to identify such dangerous places and notified 16 locations across the city.
Goa, on the other hand, has identified 24 “no-selfie zones” along its coastline, including at the popular rocky beach Anjuna and at Aguada Fort.
At the locations enlisted in Mumbai, tourist police and alert volunteers warn tourists against clicking selfie in the accident prone zones. That apart, public address system also keeps warning tourists about the dangers of clicking self-portraits at these sites.
We spoke to travel enthusiast Debleena, who pointed out that Sikkim, too, has notified such no-selfie zones, including one near Rimbi River. A fall in this river is always fatal due to very strong currents.However, it is not just Indians who have fallen prey to this fad. A few months ago a blogger couple fell off a cliff at Yosemite National Park and died. This happened despite the park already having warning signages put up at risky locations.