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Durga Puja Fever: Are ‘Joyrides’ In The City In Safe Hands

07 October 2019

Debashish Maharana

Bhubaneswar: Durga Puja is a time to make merry, meet friends and relatives, eat good food and visit as many pandals, as one can. During pandal-hopping, people of all age groups are drawn to the Meena Bazars which are major hangouts. Now, most of these Meena Bazars have a place of attraction, the 'Giant Wheels' or the merry-go-rounds.

Safety measures taken by the organisers of Puja Committees and proprietors of these giant wheels remain a cause of concern. Another important matter which needs attention is the workers who manage these joyrides.

During a recent survey by OMMCOM NEWS team, it was found that minor boys in the age group of 14 to 17 are employed at these places. While their employers claim that these boys have hands-on experience of the job, the latter's attitude and expertise remains amateurish.

A large number of people throng to enjoy these giant wheels which run in full capacity most of the time. During rush hours, the crowd under the joyrides is at its peak. Under such circumstances, it becomes a risky affair putting people's lives at stake.

DCP Anup Sahoo said that licensing cell in his office conducts a thorough scrutiny before granting permission to the organisers of these joyrides to start operation during festivals. "The inspection process is strict and we ensure that safety and security of the public is not compromised." He added that whether these people employ minors or not will be looked into.

On the other hand, the 'Jhoola' owners claimed that the children have attained the age to work in the profession. A joyride owner Rajkumar said that the young employees are from his family and neighbourhood. "They loaf around in the village with no work. At least by working here these children can earn some money as well as experience."

However, in the course of earning experience, how safely these young workers manage the 'Jhoolas' remains a big question? And most importantly, should the organisers allow erection of these joyrides in crowded places. Is it really necessary and most importantly safe, needs to be thought about.

Ashok Kumar Sahoo, Joyride Owner

Rajkumar, Joyride Owner