LETTERS: Lesson from London fire

Apropos of the news story “At least 12 dead in London tower block fire: Police” (THT, June 15, Page 7), Nepal can learn valuable  lessons for free on taking steps to avoid such deadly conflagration in the residential towers. First, we pray for peace to the departed souls and send our condolences to their families in great grief. Herein lies the lessons for our country. While even a highly developed London could not do much to control the 27-storey tower from turning into a flaming inferno, it is unlikely that we would be able to do so if something like this should occur in our 14-storey high gilded towers in the valley. The low fatality - 12 persons so far -  in a 125 home condo despite fire at an unearthly hour shows that disaster management measures, although not without holes, were in place. Thanks also go to the highly dedicated, well-trained and professional British firefighters for saving lives. Nepal government should draw valuable life lessons from this and must not allow profit seeking amateur builders to build residential towers. It must place a slew of stringent conditions for fighting quake and fire on the shoulders of highly qualified and resourceful builders aspiring to erect such towers in the country. There are rumours that Nepal’s fire brigades, gifted by friendly countries, do not have reach beyond 6 or 7-storey buildings. This, if true, can tell us where we should start from before erecting multi-storey buildings.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu

Selfie culture

Kudos to Rajib Raj Acharya for his article titled “Obsession of selfie” (THT, June 15, Page 8).

The highly appropriate and relevant letter reminds me of my recent trips to Nepal and Bhutan. Far from appreciating the majestic beauty of the two Himalayan nations, our fellow tourists were acting like lunatic and zealously clicking selfies in front of Buddha statues, monasteries, lakes, rivers or near watch towers in jungles as if there is no tomorrow! And immediately after posting those pictures in social media sites, they started to engage themselves in mere gossip or discuss politics to Bollywood! It seemed their trip was not meant to cultivate new lands and its culture, but merely to advertise to the world that ‘I am also travelling’. This zealous obsession with self has engulfed the world in such a pathetic way that even Barrack Obama, otherwise a highly sensible personality, immersed himself in selfie-culture with two other European leaders at the solemn occasion of the funeral ceremony of none other but the great Nelson Mandela! Since the world in general prefers to augment the external beauty instead of improving the inner self, thereby providing a huge boost to the cosmetic industry; the self-centred selfie-culture of advertising oneself has succeeded in capturing the imagination of civilization with disastrous consequences, including fatal accidents while taking “brave” pictures at mountains or seacoasts. If individuals are so eager to highlight themselves in front of the society, why don’t they try to make a mark through excellence in sports, education, literature or social service?

Kajal Chatterjee , Kolkata