It has been three years since the tragic fire accident that took place at Carlton Towers, but the people affected by the fire are still fighting to make sure such an incident does not happen in Bangalore again.
Beyond Carlton, a group consisting of the people affected by the tragedy will spend the 3rd anniversary of the tragedy this Saturday, with young children trying to instill in them the importance of fire safety.
On Saturday morning, the group will conduct a fire safety quiz for school children at the Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum (VITM). “VITM is organising the quiz and we will be conducting it. About four or five schools will be participating. We have realised that fire safety as an issue is really boring. Even adults won’t pay attention if someone is giving a lecture on the do’s and don’ts of fire safety. But with a quiz there is more interaction and the students will get important information of safety. We are also distributing small prizes like a fire extinguisher to those with the right answers. The point is to spread awareness,” says Uday Vijayan, founder and managing trustee of Beyond Carlton, and a father who lost his son in the tragedy. Apart from the quiz, the group has also organised an open house at 15 fire stations where people can directly interact with firemen.
“In the evening we will have our annual memorial service with one minute silence for those who died in the tragedy, and there will also be a lecture by R.A.Venkitachalam(Venki), Vice President & Managing Director of Underwriters Laboratories(UL)-Emerging Markets,” he adds.
This will be followed by fire safety awards given to firemen. Despite the day being packed with back to back events, Vijayan said lots more needs to be done.
“We are running a marathon here. Even I could not be bothered with safety until this happened in my life. I think in the last three years we are making a small difference by creating awareness, through advocacy,” he says, adding that fire departments should inspect buildings regularly. “Something good should come out of a tragedy and I think Beyond Carlton is the good that has come out of accident. In 10 years time, if we are somehow responsible for saving even one life, then I would say we have accomplished something good,”Vijayan adds.