In tough times, when people prefer to stay indoors, these heroes work with exemplary conviction and dedication
The other day, while surfing through my Facebook account, I happened to see the picture of the dead body of a PDD casual labourer slouched on electric wires. The picture was being circulated on Facebook and other Social Networking Sites and it was saddening to see the condition of the deceased. Ironically, the Facebook pages of some news agencies also shared the picture without blurring. Just before a few days a similar image was doing rounds on social media sites and this time the condition of the deceased was even worse. Someone had clicked the picture of the deceased in a hanging position with his legs on fire. It is extremely unethical to post such pictures on social networking sites. Even if the situation demands to upload such images then the least that one can do is to blur them. Pictures of people in injured, maimed, mutilated, incapacitated and wretched condition keep circulating on social media sites and this inflicts severe mental suffering on the people associated directly with the victim. With a mobile in hand, some people think that they qualify as photojournalists and in a jiffy upload things on social networking sites. This is not good because a certain degree of censorship is necessary. As conscientious citizens, we should leave the job of news making to professionals associated with the fourth estate.
In the past few weeks, the death of a couple of PDD lineman has once again raised some questions. This is not the first time that people have died of electrocution. In the past, linemen have fallen prey to electric shocks. Off late, there has been an increase in incidents in which PDD linemen have either lost their lives or become permanently handicapped due to electric shocks. Watching a fellow human being die is depressing but what is more depressing is the mode or manner of death. The pictures of linemen slouched on electric wires and poles are disturbing. The linemen and other casual laborers are doing a thankless job. Braving all odds, they go on with their work and alleviate our problems without being noticed. In tough times, when people prefer to stay indoors, these heroes work with exemplary conviction and dedication. Disasters and natural calamities throw new challenges at them but each time these people emerge triumphant and quite valiantly move on to welcome a fresh challenge. Back in November 2019, heavy snowfall damaged the transmission system and the damage was more pronounced in North Kashmir, but these unsung heroes resurrected things without taking any credit. More often than not, the ground level workers, linemen and other casual laborers work in unfavorable circumstances in order to mitigate the suffering of people and avoid any inconvenience to them. Flood, high velocity winds or huge mounds of snow do not dampen their spirits and they go on with their outstanding work. Loss of life in any form is tragic. Seeing some of these hardworking linemen die a horrible death is excruciatingly painful. Many PDD workers have lost their lives or suffered crippling disabilities during accidents of electrocution while on duty. While working with electric circuits or installations, the risk of electric shock is always there so it becomes all the more imperative to take safety measures. Safety is of paramount importance and one should put one’s life ahead of everything else. The people associated with repair and maintenance of electrical transmission system must wear a proper safety gear before undertaking any repair work. Input supply/transmission must be snapped so that the risk of electric shock is eliminated. Callousness on the part of the lineman can invite a disaster and can put his own life on peril. In no circumstances whatsoever should the workers become overconfident and ignore the safety protocols.In the event of an accident, the safety gear can be the difference between life and death for these workers. The Power Development Department must ensure the safety of its workers by providing them safety kits. Equipment such as hand gloves, helmets, belts, shoes, face shieldsetc. should be provided to them and in case they already have them they should be made to wear them before undertaking any repair assignment. The repair work should be carried out under the proper supervision of inspectors and junior engineers. Any field worker disregarding the norms with regard to safety and protection should be penalized. The Government must come to the rescue of these workers. The life of every lineman, casual laborer or need-based worker should be insured. They must be trained to execute the job of installing and repairing the live transmission system. The authorities must acknowledge the service provided by these workers and while acknowledging their efforts, should give them risk cover/insurance and a safe working environment.
(The Author is a Freelance writer)