Ramesh G Jethwani is a prolific "Letters to Editor writer/columnist, who over the decades has written over a thousand "Letters to editor" and few columns, which have been widely published in leading newspapers in India and in GCC(Gulf countries),These letters to editor/ Columns are a testimony to the power of his ideas,his letters and columns short and precious --have served a very useful purpose in drawing the attention of authorities about important issues concerning society and the governmnet. His father always emphasized the importance of public service Read more

Accidents/Road safety Trauma Services Ambulances Disaster management

Stampede tragedy

Khaleej times-LE-10 November 2011-L.E.

It is inconceivable that frequent deadly cases of stampedes leading to loss of valuable lives at major pilgrimage centers are still occurring in contemporary India. This is a cause of concern and is a grim reminder of the fact that authorities are not prepared to .... Read More

Stampede tragedy
Khaleej times-LE-10 November 2011-L.E.

It is inconceivable that frequent deadly cases of stampedes leading to loss of valuable lives at major pilgrimage centers are still occurring in contemporary India. This is a cause of concern and is a grim reminder of the fact that authorities are not prepared to meet such tragedies due to lack of proper preparedness.

In the last decade about 1,000 lives have been lost in stampedes at various temples and other religious places in India. The recent incidence of stampede at an ashram at Haridwar which claimed 16 lives has clearly exposed the lack of safety arrangements.

The Indian government should set guidelines about precautions to be taken by setting up a proper crowd management system and by deploying properly trained police personnel to control the devotees.

The stationing of a Disaster managementteam on such occasions is a must in order to enable them to provide relief in the shortest possible time.

Improvements in physical infrastructure must also be made so that such tragedies can be prevented in future.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Haridwar mishap could have been avoided

DNA India 10 November 2011-L.E.

About a thousand lives have been lost in our country in the past decade in stampedes at various temples and religious places. The recent incident at Haridwar, where 1.6 people were killed, was yet another mishap that occurred because the authorities did not make ... Read More

Haridwar mishap could have been avoided
DNA India 10 November 2011-L.E.

About a thousand lives have been lost in our country in the past decade in stampedes at various temples and religious places. The recent incident at Haridwar, where 1.6 people were killed, was yet another mishap that occurred because the authorities did not make any safety arrangements regardless of the obvious fact that thousands of people were going to gather at the bank of Ganges for prayer ceremony.

Government should set up guidelines about precautions such as setting up crowd management system, public address system, deploying trained police personnel to control devotees, stationing of Disaster managementteam so that in that in shortest possible time, relief operation can be carried out.

We should learn a lesson or two from the arrangements at Shirdi Sai Baba temple and the Hal pilgrimage, in which about 25 lakh people take part.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Safety first

ARAB NEWS 13 April 2016--LE.

India is a multi-religious country and more religions mean more religious festivals and pilgrimages. In our country, safety of pilgrims is not the factor taken into consideration while organizing religious festivals or gatherings. After seeing large number of accidents.... Read More

Safety first
ARAB NEWS 13 April 2016--LE.

India is a multi-religious country and more religions mean more religious festivals and pilgrimages. In our country, safety of pilgrims is not the factor taken into consideration while organizing religious festivals or gatherings.

After seeing large number of accidents at these places especially due to stampedes and the recent Kollam temple fire accident, we should perfect the art of crowd management during these festivals. There is a need to adhere to safety measures and to station Disaster managementteams at such gatherings. We must lesson from such tragedies.

Government should make it compulsory for organizers of such events to get safety clearance from authorities, who should make comprehensive inspections regarding the safety aspect before granting permission for such events.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

SABARIMALA STAMPEDE

Deccan Chronicle 16 January 2011-L.E.

Friday night's tragedy at Sabarimala in which 104 devotees died is a grim reminder of the fact that authorities are not at all prepared to tackle emergencies . Deadly stampedes at major pilgrimage have become more frequent in recent times due to apathetic ... Read More

SABARIMALA STAMPEDE
Deccan Chronicle 16 January 2011-L.E.

Friday night's tragedy at Sabarimala in which 104 devotees died is a grim reminder of the fact that authorities are not at all prepared to tackle emergencies . Deadly stampedes at major pilgrimage have become more frequent in recent times due to apathetic attitude of authorities towards safety of devotees. This is a wake-up call not only for the Kerala government and Sabarimala temple management but for all major temples in the country.

The government should formulate guidelines on precautions to be taken, set up a proper crowd management system, deploy trained police personnel to control crowds and station a Disaster managementteam at all temples.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Deadly faith

The Telegraph-January 19 , 2011-L.E.

Sir — Stampedes at major pilgrimage centers have become an issue of concern in India. Recently, over a 100 devotees lost their lives at the Sabarimala temple after a collision between a jeep and an auto rickshaw. The incident is a grim reminder that the authorities concerned.... Read More

Deadly faith
The Telegraph-January 19 , 2011-L.E.

Sir — Stampedes at major pilgrimage centers have become an issue of concern in India. Recently, over a 100 devotees lost their lives at the Sabarimala temple after a collision between a jeep and an auto rickshaw.

The incident is a grim reminder that the authorities concerned are not equipped to put an end to such events.In fact,a number of people lost their lives in a temple in Jodhpur as a result of poor crowd management. Such deadly stampedes have become more frequent in recent times due to the indifference shown by the authorities to the safety of devotees. The accident at Sabarimala is a wake-up call not only for the Kerala government but also for the managements of all other major shrines in India. The government should establish guidelines about the precautions that ought to be taken while managing crowds. It should also deploy trained police personnel to control the throng of pilgrims at such places.

A Disaster managementteam should be stationed at pilgrimage centres so that relief could be sent in the shortest possible time when a mishap takes place. Improving the physical infrastructure would also help prevent such occurrences in the future.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Mad rush--The Telegraph

October 23 , 2013--LE.

Sir — It seems quite impossible, when one comes to think of it, that so many deaths take place in contemporary India because of stampedes at religious sites, railway platforms and other public places (“Cyclone of pilgrims no one tackles”, Oct 16). This is a grim ... Read More

Mad rush--The Telegraph
October 23 , 2013--LE.

Sir — It seems quite impossible, when one comes to think of it, that so many deaths take place in contemporary India because of stampedes at religious sites, railway platforms and other public places (“Cyclone of pilgrims no one tackles”, Oct 16). This is a grim reminder of the fact that the authorities are still not prepared to deal with places where a large number of people gather. They lack in preparedness and also refuse to learn from past accidents. The crowd management in temples or in railway platforms is still poor.

The government should issue a set of guidelines to be followed both by the people and by the authorities in public places. An effective public address system, the deployment of properly trained police personnel to control devotees, the stationing of Disaster managementteams, complete with ambulances and paramedics, at sensitive locations so that the people may have access to relief in the shortest possible time, are some of the steps that can be taken.

The arrangements at the Shirdi Sai Baba temple and at Tirupati are very good. Other temple authorities can take a leaf out of these temple committees’ books. Another well-organized event is the annual Haj pilgrimage. Millions of people go on that pilgrimage every year but stampedes rarely take place.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Failure of crowd control in Ratangarh

The statesman-17 Oct 2013-LE.

Sir, It is painful to reflect that stampedes are becoming fairly frequent in places of pilgrimage and railway platforms. The latest tragedy at Ratangarh temple in Madhya Pradesh illustrates that the authorities ~ whether in Hardwar, Allahabad, Bihar or MP are yet ... Read More

Failure of crowd control in Ratangarh
The statesman-17 Oct 2013-LE.

Sir, It is painful to reflect that stampedes are becoming fairly frequent in places of pilgrimage and railway platforms. The latest tragedy at Ratangarh temple in Madhya Pradesh illustrates that the authorities ~ whether in Hardwar, Allahabad, Bihar or MP are yet to draw lessons from previous mishaps. A crowd control mechanism is still not in place, let alone basic safety measures. Hundreds of people have been killed in stampedes over the past decade.

Ratangarh witnessed a massive stampede. Lakhs of devotees had congregated at the temple. Reports suggest that in panic, they leap into the river that flows below the bridge. The state governments must formulate guidelines relating to crowd management, put in place an effective public address system, and deploy trained policemen instead of volunteers of religious organisations.

A Disaster managementteam must be present in the town during a religious festival. A scant regard for basics explains the recurrent temple stampedes,Arrangements at Shirdi Sai Baba Temple and at Tirumala temple are well organized. So too is the annual Haj pilgrimage.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Tragic loss

The Telegraph-20 April 2016-LE.

Sir,It is hard to believe that in contemporary India, numerous lives are lost on account of frequent accidents at major pilgrimage cent res ("Fireworks send concrete missiles flying into homes", April 11). The fireworks explosion at the famous Puttingal temple in .... Read More

Tragic loss
The Telegraph-20 April 2016-LE.

Sir,It is hard to believe that in contemporary India, numerous lives are lost on account of frequent accidents at major pilgrimage cent res ("Fireworks send concrete missiles flying into homes", April 11). The fireworks explosion at the famous Puttingal temple in Kollam was yet another instance that highlighted the indifference of the authorities towards safety norms, especially at places where a mishap can lead to heavy casualties.

In India, incidents such as this one keeps happening, but after a certain amount of time passes, people forget about the tragedies till another one occurs. Few seem to remember the Uphaar cinema fire in 1997 that left 59 people dead. Similarly, in the Kumbakonam school fire in 2004, 94 children were charred to death. About 90 people died in the AMRI hospital fire in Calcutta in 2011. In these accidents, the violation of safety norms led to loss of lives. Innocent people paid the price for the negligence and irresponsibility of the authority.

The government should demonstrate its will to prevent such incidents from recurring by taking the strictest action against those who defy safety norms. The lawbreakers ought to be tried in fast track courts. Moreover, safety audits ought to be carried out by trained fire fighters or police personnel before such events are organized. Permission must only be granted if all safety measures are in place.A Disaster managementteam should be stationed close by during such occasions so that relief can be provided immediately if a mishap were to occur. One hopes that the people affected by this tragedy find the strength to cope with it.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Officials fail to learn from past mistakes

Tuesday, 07 October 2014

Sir,It is unfortunate that more than 33 persons have lost their lives in a stampede that broke out in Patna during the Dussehra celebrations. There is an absolute lack of contingency plans to deal with recurring human stampedes that have led to the loss of a ... Read More

Officials fail to learn from past mistakes
Tuesday, 07 October 2014

Sir,It is unfortunate that more than 33 persons have lost their lives in a stampede that broke out in Patna during the Dussehra celebrations. There is an absolute lack of contingency plans to deal with recurring human stampedes that have led to the loss of a large number of lives. It is sad that the State and Central administrations have not learnt from the experiences. The Patna incident was a clear failure of the official machinery as the authorities failed to streamline the crowd control mechanism.

After each tragedy of this magnitude, the Government announces cash compensation to the kin of the deceased and the injured. But it establishes no plan to prevent such incidents from happening.

To avoid the recurrence of such incidents, the authorities should chalk out proper routes for the devotees to enter and exit the site without any hindrance. Crowd management is a must, and we cannot wait for the next big tragedy to take place.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Development is still not reaching the poor

DNA India 8 march 2010-L.E.

This is with regard to the recent temple stampede. This incident was truly horrifying. News reports claim that the ;- majority of people gathered L- there had come there for free 1- gifts and food, which points to the high levels of poverty in our nation. While ... Read More

Development is still not reaching the poor
DNA India 8 march 2010-L.E.

This is with regard to the recent temple stampede. This incident was truly horrifying. News reports claim that the ;- majority of people gathered L- there had come there for free 1- gifts and food, which points to the high levels of poverty in our nation. While the country has been recording a favorable GDP for years, and we are now classified to be an economy of great potential, the economic growth hasn't percolated down to the masses. Secondly, such stampedes have become relatively common in our country, which exposes our lackluster attitude towards the common man.

The government must enforce regulations with regard to crowd management at gatherings such as this and focus on all-inclusive development.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Death Traps

Khaleej times----Filed on June 26, 2012 India-L.E

For the past few days, India’s attention was on the rescue efforts to save baby Mahi who was trapped in an open borewell that was more than 86 feet deep, for more than three days.There was a huge outrage in the country over this incident ... Read More

Death Traps
Khaleej times----Filed on June 26, 2012 India-L.E

For the past few days, India’s attention was on the rescue efforts to save baby Mahi who was trapped in an open borewell that was more than 86 feet deep, for more than three days.

There was a huge outrage in the country over this incident and everybody prayed for Mahi’s safety. The government of Haryana did a commendable job, which caught the nation’s attention. But all in vain. Even rescue operations headed by the Indian Army’s highly experienced engineering regiment aided by engineers from Delhi Metro could not save the child. In countries like India, lot 
of such accidents happen but they go unreported. With the onset of active media, such incidents are getting noticed.

However, the question remains as to why such accidents occur so frequently? Why are such borewells left un-capped? Why do we as a nation take safety precautions so lightly?

The Supreme Court has very clearly issued directions to cap all these functional and non-functional wells and to fence them. Any negligence should be dealt with sternly.

If the instructions of the Supreme Court were followed in letter and spirit, small and hapless children like Mahi would have been safe.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.

Development is still of reaching the poor

DNA Monday March 8, 2010-L.E.

This is with regard to the recent temple stampede. This incident was truly horrifying. News reports claim that the I majority of people gathered I there had come there for free i gifts and food, which points to the high levels of poverty in our nation. While... Read More

Development is still of reaching the poor
DNA Monday March 8, 2010-L.E.

This is with regard to the recent temple stampede. This incident was truly horrifying. News reports claim that the I majority of people gathered I there had come there for free i gifts and food, which points to the high levels of poverty in our nation. While the country has been recording a favorable GDP for years, and we are now classified to be an economy of great potential, the economic growth hasn't percolated down to the masses. Secondly, such stampedes have become relatively common in our country, which exposes our lackluster attitude towards the common man. The government must enforce regulations with regard to crowd management at gatherings such as this and focus on all inclusive development.

- Ramesh G Jethwani Bangalore.
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