Giridhar – A loss because of the negligence of industrial safety

I have still not come out of the news about the Chennai techie’s death as an iron rod fell on him when he was crossing the metro rail construction spot in GST road, Chennai. This news was being telecast and I watched it during my lunch at my office. Everyone’s reaction was that the rider would not have worn helmet or would have not obeyed signal.

But on reading the article here and from other news dailies, I did understand that Giridhar (the victim) was wearing his helmet and the ground safety was neglected by the CMRL workers. It is so haunting to know about his background. Giridhar is the only bread-winner of his family who is survived by his aged parents and a pregnant wife. He had fought for his love and had succeeded by marrying his lady-love Uthra on Aug 27, 2014. It’s hardly a year he got married. His wife is carrying his baby and their baby shower happened a month back and his wife is in her mom’s place. Can the lack of responsibility by the metro rail workers bring the dedicated son, lovable hubby and a to-be father back to the family?

I can’t even think about his parent’s situation. Bringing up their son for 30 years, seeing him study well, earn well, build his home before his marriage, marrying his love and when they are enjoying all these and are waiting for the day to hold a kid from that son in a month’s time, this incident would have shattered them. Least they would have known that their son was bidding them the last good-bye when he started to office that day.

His wife’s condition is much worse. She was in love with him. They had fought hard with their parents to get married and they had achieved it. She is nine months pregnant and is in her mom’s place. As any other woman, she would just be waiting for the day to deliver her baby and join her hubby and rejoice parenthood. Who knows what plans they had for their kid? It’s all shattered. I am praying that the kid should not be blamed by the society. I just pray that the victim’s family gets more strength to cope up with this loss.

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I know people call me weak hearted and an emotional fool. But I don’t bother about it. My heart did bleed when I read the news. I just did put myself in his place as I ride across the metro rail construction sites, I am a son, a husband and a father and I have my responsibilities. I can’t even imagine this happening to my family.

It’s not only in this site in particular but in many other metro rail construction sites and mass building construction sites, the industrial safety is a big question. In this case, the engineers who are responsible are fresh graduates. Though the official from CMRL contracted firm says that they had mandated safety, did they ever inspect sites and confirm that? There is no legal body to regulate and mandate rules for CMRL construction. I doubt is there is any general body to set rules for construction sites.  Though the officials claim that it is mistake of the engineers present there, how can they alone be blamed when there are no rules and inspection? The contract firms hire fresh graduates for low salaries and do not give prior trainings. Government officials have said that they don’t have any hands on hiring private consultants. It seems govt bothers only about experience of team leader and not his subordinates who are actually working in the site. All these lack of responsibility and negligence of safety have cost few workers’ life and now have started killing the public.

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I know very well that I am not in Delhi / Mumbai and so there will not be any candle march or protest against such happenings. I also very well know that I am in a place where even your neighbor doesn’t bother about your wellness. I read that when the incident took place, the riders who came behind Giridhar were standing still and were not even ready to come near the body after the crash and the crowd went ahead with their routine once the police came and cleared the traffic.

But I wish TN government take the responsibility in their shoulders and bring a strict law to regulate safety and cancel the contract with firms which do not mandate the same.

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