A few months ago, a 17-year-old girl was swept into the sea at Bandra while clicking a selfie. A man who jumped in to rescue her drowned too. Soon after, a group of youngsters hit the news after facing a near-death experience while clicking a selfie at the edge of a high cliff in the Sahyadris.
To prevent such incidents, the state tourism corporation has taken it upon itself decided to advise tourists on how and where to click selfies. The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has initiated a campaign to increase awareness about selfie accidents and educate youngsters on how to take selfies near beaches, forts, valleys and cliffs in the state without courting danger. It has directed district collectors across Maharashtra’s 36 districts to display public notices about clicking safe selfies at risky spots.
Paraag Jaiin Nainuttia, managing director, MTDC, said, “MTDC has requested collectors in the state to shortlist dangerous tourist spots, display warning notices involving risks in clicking selfies and distinguish safe areas from where tourists can get better angles without any risk.”
Sajid Pirani, an avid selfie-taker and owner of Selfie Nations group, which encourages people to click and post adventurous selfies on social media, said restraint while taking selfies is essential, even if it dampens excitement to a certain extent.
“A selfie is not about your looks, but about what makes the picture unique. Selfies, when shared on social media, can bring people virtual fame they otherwise may not get. Taking a less-adventurous selfie is fine, as safety is more important,” Pirani said.
The MTDC, too, has taken to social media to publicise its ‘safe selfies’ campaign, with promotional punch lines such as ‘My selfie is a safe selfie,’ and ‘Let this selfie not be your last selfie.’