Pune: An increasing number of casualties are taking place because of reckless clicking of selfies at dangerous places like hills, near water bodies or railway tracks. Recent examples include a 21-year-old student slipping and drowning at Bandra Bandstand in Mumbai while taking a selfie with her sister and mother on May 15.
In another such incident, four doctors from Pune drowned in the Ujani Dam in Indapur after their boat capsized on April 30, allegedly while clicking selfies. These accidents are common at popular hilly tourist destinations around Pune, frequented by youngsters.
The craze of clicking selfies at risky and dangerous places to gain ‘likes’ on social media sites is proving fatal for some.
Ajay Raut of Shiv Durga, a trekking organisation in Lonavla that also engages in rescuing tourists, said, “This kind of adventures takes place mostly in the monsoon. Youngsters in the age group of 20 to 30 years are involved in this. Six months ago, a young boy lost his balance while clicking a selfie from the edge of Lion Point in Lonavla. In another incident, a young boy climbed up a tree near Shooting Point in Khandala to click a selfie, lost balance and died.”
City-based psychiatrist Dr Ivan Netto, who is a faculty member of Sassoon Hospital said, “The addiction of taking selfies has increased currently. It can be divided into three stages - addiction of selfie, craving of the selfie and feeling uncomfortable if a selfie is not taken. Such people can go through counselling if needed. In literal terms, it is called ‘Cognitive Behaviour Therapy’.”
Dr Netto said youngsters should learn from these fatal incidents and take precautionary measures to avoid it. Anil Kadam, Chief Disaster Officer of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) said, “Just to get popular on social media sites, it is not necessary to click selfies. Even if they have such craze of clicking selfies, they should take proper precautions.”
He said no data of selfie deaths is available with them or with the local police stations.