The government on Wednesday asked states to identify and barricade ‘selfie danger’ areas, the first attempt to curb a growing craze for the perfect shot that has led to several fatalities in the country in the past couple of years.
Though there are no official data on the number of people who died taking selfies – a recently-coined word to describe a self-shot mobile photograph – reports said at least 54 people were killed since 2014 in India.
Last year, India recorded the highest number of selfie deaths – 15 out of 27 -- in the world, according to a Washington Post report.
Officials said that the tourism ministry has issued an advisory to all states asking them to identify tourist spots that are prone to accidents, installing signages warning visitors of the danger involved in taking selfies and barricading areas wherever possible danger is identified.
The letter signed by the tourism ministry additional director general Meenakshi Sharma also recommended posting volunteers or tourist police at such places.
Sharma also sought awareness drives through social and other media.
The identification of the potential danger zones will be done by the states.
An official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the advisory ahead of the Independence Day was part of security measures for the celebrations but will remain in force.
Some states – including Maharashtra and Karnataka -- have already identified selfie danger zones and put up warning signs.
Earlier this year, Mumbai police identified at least 16 danger zones in the city after a man drowned trying to save a girl who fell into the sea while taking a selfie.
Experts say that selfies have become an attention-seeking activity for youths trying to find self-esteem in the ‘likes’ and comments on various social media platforms.