Your Favourite Tourist Spot May Soon Become a 'No Selfie Zone’
'Selfies' may soon be banned in some tourist locations across the country in order to curb the rising incidence of 'selfie-deaths'.
The advisory issued by the tourism ministry includes identification of all such tourist spots that are prone to accidents. (Representattive image: PTI)
"Selfie" addicts may be in for a shock as the government of India has decided to regulate "selfies", which may soon be banned in some tourist locations across the country in order to curb the rising incidence of "selfie-deaths".
In a letter written to Lok Sabha in response to queries about whether the "selfie" had become a public safety issue, the Home Ministry has assured that all states and Union Territories have been told to identify potentially unsafe tourism locations and then ban tourists from taking "selfies" there.
Putting the onus on the states and UTs, the Home Ministry has said that it is the primary responsibility of all state governments and UT administrators to demarcate potentially dangerous tourist locations as "No Selfie Zones".
UT and state governments have been asked to put up boards and signage, telling tourists why it is dangerous to take "selfies" in such places. The move is intended to prevent the large number of "selfie" deaths and injuries that take place in India.
The demand for making certain zones ‘selfie-free’ is not new. In July 2017, Mumbai police had proposed to declare nearly 15 locations in the city as ‘selfie-free’ zones following the deaths of many girls and boys while taking "selfies".
The news hardly comes as a surprise with India being the uncontested capital of deaths by ‘selfie’ for several years now. According to Me, Myself and My Killfie: Characterizing and Preventing Selfie Deaths, a collaborative study by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Indraprastha Institute of Information Delhi, between March 2014 and September 2016, 60 per cent of all ‘selfie deaths’ – where a person dies while trying to take a picture of themselves – were reported from India.
In September 2017, News 18 reported the death of Ashok Bharati, who was crushed by an elephant while attempting to take a "selfie" with it in Cuttack. More recently, a 20-year-old was severely injured after trying to take a ‘selfie’ with a train.
The letter written by the Home Ministry also says that volunteers or police should be posted in potentially dangerous areas and barricades put up wherever necessary to avoid accidents.
The government also wants to focus on spreading public awareness about the nuisance created by ‘selfies’ using public messaging and social media platforms.
Safe to say that some "anti-selfie" campaigning may be on the cards next for the ruling party.
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