Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Health and safety गया तेल लाने!

Last weekend talking to an elderly couple from the parish, time and again I was reminded of the freak 'health and safety' syndrome of the West.  Here any and every work has to follow the 'health and safety' guidelines.

The couple I was having a conversation with were narrating of their scary experience while visiting Thailand.  They were having a jumbo safari.  They were seated on top of the elephant, on a sort of platform with a short railing (10 inches tall) that too on just three sides.  At one point the elephant was walking downhill.  They recalled that terrifying experience of falling off the elephant! Even while recalling and narrating the event, the gentleman was quite visibly anxious.  A while later, they themselves pointed out how some people in India travel sitting on top of the trains.  I said, though not very often, people do sit on lorries and buses, leave alone ride buffaloes, donkeys and horses without any safety gear.

Here in UK, practically every house has to have the inspection every year, the insurance taken, safety measures (smoke alarm, motion detectors, burglar alarm, fire extinguishers... just to name a few) installed and regularly maintained - meaning paid for.  A couple of tiles from our rooftop seem to have shifted.  When I volunteered to see and if possible do the necessary repairs, I was strictly told by the confreres not to even think of it.  The expert had to be called in, they chorused.  (However, after a couple of days, the Rector, relented, but let me do it only under his supervision.  I completed the job in 10 mins!)  While travelling, every person in the vehicle is to put on the seat belt.  Even if one passenger does not, some of the modern vehicles start beeping! Even to ride a bicycle one ought to wear a helmet, have a front light, a rear red light, and if possible wear a fluorescent jacket!  Most construction workers look like astronauts!

Living in places like India with all its challenges and hardships, actually makes us stronger and more courageous.  We take risks quite sportively - hardly considering them as risks at all.  Those Europeans who dare, call it adventure!  But for most of us coming from developing countries it is ordinary living!

'Health and safety' गया तेल लाने!

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