On Saturday, at the on-going mela (fair) at the Changzamtog school ground, a man narrowly escaped getting severely injured when getting down from the Ferris wheel.
The man was with a child. Probably panicked, he rushed or missed a step. The child was unhurt and the man walked away after a brief moment of soaking in the pain and embarrassment.
The accident, fortunately, was not serious. But it taught all the fairgoers some lessons. Words spread and many were convinced that safety is not the biggest priority at the fair.
There is not much entertainment in the capital city. Anything that is organised draws a lot of people. At the fair, it was mostly children convincing their parents to enjoy some rides. There are about a dozen items, mostly rides and a motorbike stunt show.
The idea of an entertainment in cold Thimphu is good, but a walk by the rides could make any sensible person give a second thought to risk putting up their children in bucket like seats without enough safety gears.
We cannot expect brand new machines at a fair organised for a few days especially when it has to be brought from across the border. But the safety aspect cannot be overlooked.
Quickly assembled structures has no guarantee and with crowd rushing for some entertainment, the risk is increased. The place where the car and bike stunts are performed looks disaster in waiting. The smallest mistake could spell disaster both for the performers, without any safety gadgets, or to the curious spectators. This is besides people complaining of noise that is deliberate to attract spectators.
Everybody loves going to a fair. In our case, it is not often that we see a fair organised at our doorstep. Nobody makes a fuss, except for the entry fee or charges unless something happens.
Those who organise events say it is a tedious process to get permission, as they are sent from office to office for clearance. It is not sure if safety is one of the criteria.
We have organised events and we have had incidents. Precautions should be high on the priority list when granting permissions to organise public events.
There will be a lot of events organised in Thimphu and elsewhere. There is demand and the size of people with disposable income is increasing. Most are targeted at idle children when on holidays.
From our experience, we are wiser after the event. Frustrations, anger and ideas after an event will not help. It is, like we say, better to be safe than sorry.