It’s a unanimous New Year resolution this time: be alert, be safe

January 1st, 2009 - 12:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 1 (IANS) Terror attacks almost every second month in different places across the country and then the dastardly Mumbai terror rampage overshadowed the feelings of people in the country last year. Not suprisingly, that’s not the emotion they want to start the new year with.Many have decided to start the New Year on a more positive note - with a resolution to be more alert, to abide by rules of the law and possibly help in averting another fatal incident.

Ruhi Khan, a kindergarten teacher and a mother of a two-year-old in Mumbai, said that it has been a slow recovery from the shock of the 26/11 Mumbai terror assault that killed more than 170 people, leaving the nation and the world stunned.

A resident of Marine Lines in south Mumbai - very close to the places where the terrorists struck that fateful night - Khan said that it was a sombre beginning to the new year, but she is armed with a strong resolution, one that she is trying to instill in her young students as well.

“Unfortunately we are living in a time when the more you trust people around you, the more you travel and live in a carefree manner, the more vulnerable you are. My resolution this New Year will be to be more alert and abide by the rules of the law instead of huffing and puffing at the sight of long queues of security checks at airports and other places,” Khan told IANS.

“I have also started telling my young students in kindergarten that it is their responsibility to alert their parents whenever they see any unattended or abandoned item in a public place,” she added.

In Delhi, where there were serial bombings in September, people are equally determined to take on the responsibility of ensuring a safer environment as far as they can.

Many resident welfare associations (RWAs) in the city have stepped up their security in their neighbourhoods.

Rohan Joshi, for instance, said that his housing society in north Delhi has a screening carpet at the gates for cars.

“Cars entering the society now have to drive over a carpet which screens the car. After the spate of blasts in the country this year and then the Mumbai terror attacks, everyone has realised that security is not an issue to be taken for granted,” Joshi said.

Arya Jain, a college student in Bangalore, similarly said that she and her friends have taken it upon themselves to make their neighbourhood as secure as they possibly can.

“It’s not just the terror attacks, but also incidents such as robbery and murder of the elderly and others that we read about in the newspapers every day, that has left us with a feeling of insecurity even in our homes.

“Doing our bit to help curb that feeling to some extent, my friends in the neighbourhood and I have decided to keep a vigilant eye on the visitors entering our housing society. We keep in touch with the guards at the gate, and whenever possible pay a visit to elderly couples staying alone. As we have realised, this makes them feel both secure and good, since they really crave for some company,” Jain told IANS.

Rima Baruah, a homemaker in Guwahati which was also victim to a spate of blasts this year, said that it’s time the common man stops putting the onus of every incident on the government and starts behaving like a responsible citizen.

“Every time there is a fatal incident, there is the usual blame game. It’s time we stopped blaming the system every time and start doing our bit to avert such incidents. This New Year, my resolution will be to become a responsible citizen, abide by the law and be more alert,” Baruah told IANS.

“Life means to go on… whatever happened is a thing of the past and we start the new year on a positive note,” she added.

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