Tragic and Devastating

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In what could be only described as a disastrous tragedy, two young trekkers have lost their lives while descending the Kolahai. Apparently, the group of nine trekkers was hit by a volley of rocks while they were trekking downwards. Two died on the spot; the third one is grievously injured and others miraculously survived. The onus of blame is being apportioned to the rescue teams which apparently arrived late on the scene of the disaster. While disasters of this kind cannot be prevented but surely, rescue efforts can be tightened, so to speak, and be made more efficient. This holds a searing resonance for a place like Kashmir which is , among other things, a trekkers paradise. The deceased trekkers cannot be brought back to life, alas. But, in their memory and for the safety of potential trekkers, lessons must be drawn from this tragic saga. First and foremost, trekkers must, before venturing into the mountains, must inform the authorities, at the base, over their trekking routes so that, if any misfortune, falls on them, their location(s) can easily be identified. Second, while it is not always possible have seamless communication, trekkers must share their trekking plans and route with families and friends, before they embark on their mountain adventures. Third, they must check and cross check weather patterns, all doable in this day and age. Four, the tourism department should and must be on perpetual alert, especially vis a vis far and distant trekking locations and points. Five, the department responsible for disaster mitigation must be hyper alert to potential incidents of the kind in contention. Their resources and facilities must be on high alert and in a state of readiness. They must also coordinate with the department of tourism, so that synergies between the two can be used and taken recourse to if and when disaster strikes. Of, course, there can never be a picture perfect rescue attempt but things can be drastically, effectively and efficiently improved upon. Here, the Thai rescue of students must serve as a reminder and as an aspiration. Returning to the tragedy in contention, lives which have been lost cannot be brought back. But, potential tragedies can be averted in the future, if preventative and precautionary measures are taken. The fury of nature is unpredictably volatile and it can neither be pre empted nor stopped but the aftermath can be ameliorated and lives saves. It is to this end that minds must be concentrated on!