In an effort to manage hazardous overcrowding, pilgrims are being stopped from taking pictures of themselves when moving in for their holy Snan.
Last week we reported that India’s most important cultural festival Kumbh Mela was even better organised than the FIFA World Cup. This week, more news has broke just to attest to that.
The festival that sees over 3 million people a year, has banned selfies in particular ‘no-selfie’ zones to make sure massive crowds don’t stick on one spot, that can cause a stampede. This idea was tested with an actual crowd, according to the Indian Express. The test indicated thousands of people stopping to take pictures slowed down the movement of the crowd and imposed the threat of bottlenecks, that can lead to harmful stampedes. Sandip Shinde, CEO of a firm that is helping authorities monitor the festival said :
“They also climb to dangerous spots to take selfies,”
Measures like these are of dire importance especially in a country where mass gatherings often lead to some kind of fatal mishap. Stampede death tolls are sadly a common factor of any pilgrimage in India. The same day the Kumbh Mela began around 27 people were trampled to death at a pilgrimage in Andhra Pradesh.
This year estimates for the Nasik leg of Kumbh Mela are at a whopping 3 million, which is why it is of dire importance that crowd regulation control works like clockwork. Attendees will be prohibited from taking pictures of them selves on certain days of the festival and certain problem areas, so thousands of people can systematically take their holy dips in the Godavari River.