Old Delhi – What is Risk Management?

By Doyice and Mary Cotten

Certainly the term “risk management” is not a common, household term in Old Delhi. This article and photos discuss and illustrate some of the risks faced in the daily lives of Indians living in and visiting Old Delhi. Old Delhi is the oldest and most colorful section of the vibrant city of Delhi. These photos are meant to depict some of the hazards faced by locals and visitors to the city.

Photo 1

I snapped Photo 1 one afternoon while riding in a bicycle rickshaw. We have seatbelt laws for adults in America and even more stringent requirements for child car seats, but not so in India. Note the seatbelts (or lack of) for the child in this photo as he rides down the busiest street in Old Delhi. How dangerous is this? Check Photo 2 to for a better look at the traffic.
In previous articles I have shown shots of the power lines in various cities. I repeat one here in Photo 3 – they will astound any electrician out there.
Think any federal regulations in this country are violated in Photo 4? Note in the closer shots in Photos 5 and 6 that some workers are wearing a harness attached to a rope and some are not. Wonder what qualifies a worker for a rope, or if it is a matter of choice. This work was inside the world-famous Red Fort.
We visited another famous site, Humayan’s Tomb. It was a beautiful well-kept site but Photos 7 and 8 identify a couple of hazards. The first was within the tomb and involve a trip-sport – a small step-up that could easily cause a trip and fall. From the photo the change in level looks obvious; however this was a dark passageway that is lit only by the flash of my camera. Notice the water channel at Mary’s feet. It presents a sudden drop-off to a tourist looking off into the distance and the rail is not sufficiently high to prevent one from falling over it. The 40 foot drop to the ground below is not apparent in the photo.
India Gate (Photo 9) is one of the most popular and most beautiful sites in the city; however, the beautiful green grass is watered by sewage water. Apparently the day we were there, they were having some trouble. There were puddles and the smell was unmistakable. Even worse, Photo 10 shows some boys swimming in a channel and ignoring the pollution.
We saw one small playground with traditional play equipment. This was at a Christian church that operated a primary school during the week. A slide, merry-go-round, swing set, and climber are shown in Photos 11 through 14. Also note a bicycle rickshaw school bus in the background of some of the photos.
Risk management or no risk management, India and Old Delhi present one of the most interesting and exciting scenes in the world. They are full of hard-working, friendly people and sights you will see nowhere else in the world.

Click photo to enlarge or view a slideshow.