We need to put a premium on human life

Nov 02, 2018, 05:53 IST | mid-day correspondent

Mumbai's selfie points can be a beginning, with banners and announcements about how selfies with responsibility are the best selfies of all

We need to put a premium on human life
Mid-day

The tragedy involving an Indian couple who fell to their deaths in California's Yosemite National Park, while taking a selfie has resonated all over the world. Vishnu Viswanath, 29, and Meenakshi Moorthy 30, both travelholics, died last week after falling from Taft Point, a popular overlook at the iconic US Park. Their bodies were recovered by park rangers on Thursday.

Viswanath's brother told local media in India that he believes the couple was taking a selfie when the tragedy happened. A rash of reports have cited that the couple had a blog called Holidays and HappilyEverAfters that chronicled their adventures. Ironically, some reports say that the couple had warned others about the dangers of taking pictures from certain points and had actually written, is our life worth just one photo? Advice they should have heeded themselves.

The couple fell almost 245 metres in an area surrounded by steep terrain. Reports state that rescuers had to use a helicopter to recover the bodies. Statistics show that India holds the dubious distinction of having the most selfie deaths ­­— 159 deaths since 2011. The selfie-at-any-cost approach has to be tackled on a war-footing. Maybe, like cigarette packages, cellphone manufacturers should print warnings on the back about daredevil selfies that could cost you your life.

While that may seem extreme, we could do with a sustained campaign on hoardings, announcements at public spaces like Railway stations (the train selfie is a big Chaiyya, Chaiyya moment in Mumbai) and celebrities raising awareness about throwing caution to the wind. We have to combat selfie-deaths through awareness and warnings. Mumbai's selfie points can be a beginning, with banners and announcements about how selfies with responsibility are the best selfies of all.

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