Data regarding accidental river drowning incidents in Mizoram between 2011 and 2021 have highlighted a concerning trend. According to information gathered from local news dailies, over 300 individuals lost their lives in such incidents during this period, with the majority of the deceased falling within the age group of 21 to 40 years old.
The information was revealed during a state-level seminar on accidental river drowning incidents, which took place at the Taxation Department Auditorium, MINECO, on Tuesday.
The seminar witnessed the participation of various organisations dedicated to disaster management, including members of the Quick Response Team, Aapda Mitra, YMA (Young Mizo Association), and the Centre for Disaster Management at Mizoram University. The event’s Chief Guest was Lalchamliana, the Minister of Disaster Management and Rehabilitation.
Addressing the gathering, Lalchamliana expressed his regret over the high number of accidental river drowning incidents occurring in Mizoram. He also praised the courage and dedication of those who actively participate in the traditional Mizo practice of searching for drowning victims for seven consecutive days. He emphasised that while some incidents may be unfortunate, there are also cases where individuals may not exercise enough caution. Lalchamliana called for unified efforts to prevent such accidents from happening in the future.
The global scale of accidental drowning incidents is a cause for concern, as highlighted by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO reports indicate that more than 360,000 people succumb to drowning accidents each year, with half of the victims being under the age of 30.
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In India, the National Crime Records Bureau recorded approximately 36,362 drowning-related deaths in the year 2021 alone.
According to the Disaster Management Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, accidental drowning incidents are not classified as disasters and are therefore not eligible for ex-gratia assistance.
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