destination india

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

for a few coins more

The sinking of the Egyptian ship in the Red Sea that claimed nearly 1000 lives is an example of how man’s greed leads to avoidable catastrophes. From accounts of the survivors who have had miraculous escapes, it is understood that a fire had broken out and explosions were heard. Parallels are being drawn with the sinking of the pleasure ship Titanic which hit an iceberg. The only similarity between the two is the fact that both ended in watery graves for the passengers on board.

In our own country we have faced accidents of this nature – like the one in which several bogies of the Mumbai-Howrah train were gutted in a fire that broke out in one of the compartments when breakfast was being prepared. It seems a travel agent was responsible – he wanted to cut corners in expenses and, hence, carried along with his team of tourists, his own kitchen complete with gas cylinders, cooks etc. Then there are road accidents involving overcrowded buses that believe speeding is the best way to reach the terminus – unfortunately, sometimes the terminus works to be the last one.

Such accidents will continue as long as the greed factor takes precedence over factors of safety. Whether it is on land or in the water, lives lost result in hardships for those who are left behind. Unless they are covered by insurance, the organizations suffer financial losses. Overcrowding and carriage of inflammable articles in public modes of transport are risky; notes of caution are sounded from time to time. Invariably, the culprits are the persons who are directly in contact with the passengers – packing the passengers like sardines in cans tempts them to earn a quick buck. Usually, they get away with such practices but, when calamity strikes, they themselves might become the first victims.

The responsibility finally rests with the organizers. It is for them to ensure that the traveler reaches his destination safely.

8 Comments:

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