Indians are careless about safety when traveling

It is heart-wrenching to read about the death of 22 people riding in a boat on Yamuna river that got capsized.  Maybe a bit of care by the operator would’ve saved many of the lives.

While reading this (sad) story, I was reminded of the boat ride I took last week, on the sea near Rameswaram temple. The joyride was operated by a small outfit who charged Rs.60 per person for the 30-minute ride on the sea close to the shore.  Apart from us, there were about 50 passengers who went on the ride, which were being operated continuously during the day. On our ride, from the conversations of the other passengers, I figured most of them belonged to a party of school teachers from south Tamil Nadu.

For Rs.60 you can ride on this boat for 30 minutes near the shores of Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India

Once we got on board, the conductor (is that what you call them) of the boat, a teenager, dutifully distributed life-jackets and helped everyone to wear them around their neck. The captain too urged all passengers to wear the life-jacket, be seated firmly, not to put their hands out of the boat, and not to stand when the boat was moving. Alas, this being a tourist spot in India, few paid attention; only me, my friends and alone postman in uniform followed the instructions. Most others were busy talking or showing the scenery over a WhatsApp video call to their loved ones; thank God the captain didn’t start until everyone did put up the life-jacket. I was surprised by his dedication to safety. Not surprisingly after few minutes into the water, most of the teachers removed the life-jacket as it was “disturbing” their selfies!

Yours truly riding on a boat with life-jacket as instructed

This made me wonder – on my fellow Indians reckless belief that “bad” things always happen only to others!.

I am eager to hear your experiences, when safety was cared little while you were travelling, please post it in the comments below.

Also published on Medium.

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