Post-pub blaze, Mum­baikars nix plans of par­ty­ing on NYE

The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI - AGEN­CIES

Trau­ma­tised by the pub fire which killed 14 on Fri­day, many Mum­baikars on Satur­day said they have ei­ther can­celled or scaled down their planned New Year Eve cel­e­bra­tions.

Si­mul­ta­ne­ously, social me­dia cam­paigns were launched with hash­tags like #Mum­baiMourn­ing# ap­peal­ing to peo­ple to boy­cott cel­e­bra­tions or at least sub­due them.

The Pub­lic Re­la­tions Coun­cil of In­dia launched ad rive#Vr Play­ing With Fire# to fo­cus at­ten­tion on the ap­palling lack of fire safety in pub­lic places, said its na­tional pres­i­dent B.N. Ku­mar.

"Don't we see that restau­rants, ho­tels, mul­ti­plexes, etc that we visit have nar­row pas­sages that could be death traps in case of ac­ci­dents," asked PRCI Chair­man Emer­i­tus M.B. Ja­yaram.

"# vr play­ing with fire Do our homes, eater­ies, cin­e­mas, of­fices, clubs, Rly sta­tions, air­ports etc have fire safety norms? Raise ur voice, ask ques­tions, post here & other plat­forms. No lessons learnt from past dis­as­ters? Act now, else re­pent later. Join @PRCINOW cam­paign," said PRCI tweets which have tagged me­dia houses, pro­fes­sion­als, in­flu­encers and the PMO and Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

Social me­dia plat­forms like Face­book, Twit­ter and What­sApp were flooded with mes­sages from celebs to com­mon­ers pay­ing homage to the 14 vic­tims and lash­ing out at the au­thor­i­ties.

Can­dle-lightt marches and silent pro­ces­sions were also or­gan­ised on Satur­day by var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing Sa­has Foun­da­tion, which urged peo­ple to boy­cott cel­e­bra­tions in ho­tels, pubs, or restau­rants, not burst crack­ers to wel­come the New Year.

Di­a­mond trader Dharmesh Jhaveri of Vile Parle ap­pealed to peo­ple to take part in a peace-cum­sol­i­dar­ity march from Parel Sta­tion to the Ka­mala Mills Com­pound in mem­ory of the vic­tims.

Tushar A. Gandhi, the great grand­son of Ma­hatma Gandhi, how­ever, frowned at the can­dle-marches and silent pro­ces­sions. "This is the time for di­rect pro­tect and de­mand strict en­force­ment of rules and reg­u­la­tions, and a thor­ough cleanup of the rot­ten sys­tem. Protest and picket," Gandhi told IANS.

Cor­po­rate trainer and mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant Venkat Iyer asked: "Why do such tragedies keep hap­pen­ing time and again, and why have we become a 'post-mortem na­tion' in­stead of be­ing a pro-ac­tive one."

"Post-mortems only tell us the cause, the fo­cus should be on how we can pre­vent such inidents. Ac­cord­ingly, my wife Ramya and I have no plans for any cel­e­bra­tions," he said.

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