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