Memories and lessons

Friends of the dead stress fire safety on the anniversary of Carlton tragedy

While colleagues and friends recalled fond memories of the deceased victims, a common message that resonated was how more awareness should be created for fire safety.

In spite of the Fire and Emergency services being revamped, there was need to amend archaic laws. Carrying forward this key message is Beyond Carlton, a registered charitable group formed by the relatives and survivors of Carlton Tower mishap.

The group has been conducting various fire drill campaigns and other educational activities in malls, schools and corporate companies along with the fire department.

People’s involvement

Brijesh Dayanand, a childhood friend of Akhil Uday, believed that people should involve themselves in creating awareness about fire safety in buildings, which would in a way carry on Akhil's conviction in bringing about change in society. Father of Surabhi Joshi, one of the deceased, spoke over  phone from Lucknow, echoing the same thought. 

Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, medical director, Manipal Hospital, where all 69 people including those who died were taken, said the Carlton Towers incident had taught the hospital how to deal with mass casualties and emergency.  

Award

The group has also instituted the Firemen of the year award, which will be an annual affair henceforth, to show their gratitude to the firemen to whom many own their lives.
The first set of awards were given to firemen K T Prakash, Mudasir Hussain and Venkatesh, who went beyond their call of duty to rescue people in the building.

"I didn't even have the strength to move due to the smoke. But then I heard a voice which said 'Come, sir' and took me out of the building," recalled Nitin Dubey, one of the survivors. Although, he does not know which fireman saved him, he believes the fireman to be his “guardian angel”.

Beyond Carlton along with Manipal Hospital and Underwriters Laboratories also held health check-up for 105 firemen and their families at the Fire and Emergency Services Academy, Bannerghatta Road on Wednesday morning.

The group has also submitted a proposal to the BBMP to allot space in the park near Carlton Towers for creating a memorial.

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