Chandan Singh, all of nine years, lived his favourite TV show. And he died by it, too. The warning at the start of MTV Roadies obviously hadn’t registered and the child hanged himself trying to copy a task on the show.
Was that warning enough? Roadies fans feel it’s not prominent. Students Rajat Sahni and Harshita Chandra, who have seen all the episodes, were hard pressed to remember if a warning was shown at all. They agreed that host Akshay Kumar did a far better job on Fear Factor — Khatron ke Khiladi, addressing viewers to tell them that the stunts on the telly were not to be repeated at home. That’s the sort of warning one recalls.
While Roadies creator Raghu Ram could not be contacted despite sustained attempts, HT City spoke to Khatron ke Khiladi participants for their take. Actress Meghna Naidu says, “There are two steps to take. One, parents should not allow 8- or 9-year-old kids to watch such stunt-based shows. If they do, they must make sure the kids know that these stunts are done under supervision. Two, the shows must not limit the warning to a barely-there text. They should incorporate visual grabs and bytes from the host.”
Another khiladi, model Dipannita Sharma also feels precautions begin at home, as “once a child’s curiosity is aroused, it may go out of control.” Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, lifestyle management expert, seconds that. “Children want to copy what looks cool. It is for parents to make it clear that what’s cool may not be safe,” she points out.
HT City columnist Imran Khan, a youth icon, has done a fair amount of stunts. His message is: “People don’t realise how much planning, training and safety consideration goes into a stunt. The stunt is planned by a stunt director, and tested by professional stuntmen before an actor does it. A lot of people work hard with special equipment to make it safe for the actor. I’d ask parents to explain this to kids, because they can hurt themselves very badly trying to imitate things they see on TV or films.”