Get Moving…

By Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 30 November / Nov 2016. 01:00 AM
  • Fahed Khitan

How many children have we lost over the last two weeks? The same tragedy every winter; incorrect and unsafe use of gas and oil heaters has been claiming families in whole sometimes, and in most cases, the victims of this recklessness, or ignorance at best, are children.

Almost every day, we wake to heart breaking news. But these news do not draw the kind of attention that would drive awareness campaigns or Civil Defence efforts to prevent there recurrence, no. In the aftermath of every incident, this year, as in years before, I tell myself: this time, people will learn, and not a single parent would now dare leave the heater on in their children’s room during the night, without ventilation. Still, sometimes, less than 24 hours after, another tragedy is reported.

Most accidents, according to news reports, take place in popular neighbourhoods, and in the poorer midst of people who rely on Kerosene for heat, and live in smaller residences.

Fact is that most of these communities are relatively secluded from awareness campaigns, in spite the spread of media and the social media boom. Many in our society even feel they are not even part of it.

Therefore, we need to find other ways to communicate with the communities most susceptible to these incidents. And it might be suitable, for example, to dedicate a school day to enlightening children to the perils of misusing heaters. That way, students may actually carry these message back to their parents. So can charity and social organisations, and there is an abundance of those in cities and towns across the countries. Also, campaigns targeting housewives, primarily, can be carried out, wherein municipalities can play an impartial role in this discourse.

Just as well, youths can gather themselves in their own neighbourhoods and tours residences to explain the results of shoving younglings in small rooms with heaters full of deadly fumes.

At this pacing rate, incidents that occur every year indicate that traditionally employed media is insufficient; that innovative and creative means must be founded to stop this dramatic series of tragedies.

Partially to blame, media coverage of these unfortunate, near daily deaths of children, due to suffocation, is superficial, with no more than a couple of paragraphs, and that’s it. Why can’t devise a mechanism that puts these incidents in light, to communicate the horrid details of these terrors to the impoverished population, perhaps that would awaken their senses.

Maybe short clips could depict these incidents to the mass public via social media platforms, through airing these clips during peak hours, or maybe featuring stories of the sort on newspapers and websites.

Much can be done, instead of just standing by, counting child victims every day.

MPs in their campaigns knock on every door, particularly in popular neighbourhoods, but they do not volunteer in campaign s to raise awareness among their constituency on the misuse of heaters! The premier and ministers can participate in such campaigns, and perhaps even fund them.

If the near daily death of children does not stir our feelings, our presence; honestly, is worthless.

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