Gujarat has reportedly enforced no-selfie zones at Saputara, the state’s only hill station, as well as other tourist spots in Dang district. This was set up as a security measure – India is the selfie-death capital of the world by a huge margin, and authorities believe that if they can’t make people more aware of their surroundings, banning selfies could be next best step. People often climb to insecure perches or other dangerous locations to get the perfect shot, endangering themselves in the process, and this will not be allowed in Dang, according to a news report.
If the authorities find that you click on a selfie in the tourist spot, you will have to pay a fine of up to Rs. 200 or serving a month in prison, according to the report. The security measure comes after selfie deaths became a concern for district officials, with many reported incidents of people falling from the hills while photographing themselves.
In order to prevent the occurrence of such incidents, additional district magistrate TK Damor has been notified to make tourist spots in Dang ‘no selfie’ zones, the report said. According to the notice, violators must serve 1 month in prison or pay a fine of up to Rs. 200. Every year, during the monsoon, Saputara becomes a hub of activity with many tourists flocking to the area. The hill station has dense forests and many waterfalls.
Deaths from selfies are a serious problem in India, with the latest 2019 study by India’s Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care showing that selfies killed five times more people than shark attacks between October 2011 and November 2017. Compared to 259 people who died taking selfies during the said period, only 50 people were killed by sharks. The report also stated that as smartphones become more sophisticated and selfie sticks become all the rage, the number of deaths is increasing incrementally every year. While selfie deaths are not unique to India, but are also a problem in other parts of the world, including Russia and the United States, the number of such incidents is significantly higher here.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns kept people taking pictures like this outside until 2020, but it seems things are returning to normal and authorities in Gujarat decided to take action.
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