Gone are the days when the city of Guwahati had only one swimming pool - Bimala Prasad Chaliha Swimming Pool at RG Baruah Sport Complex - where people from different sections of the society used to come for swimming or to learn swimming.
Nowadays, the city boasts of large number of swimming pools of different types. Many of such swimming pools are located at Sarusajai Sports Complex, amusement parks, star category hotels, shopping malls, clubs, educational institutions, etc. People have now their options to choose pools depending upon their economic and other social factors. But the most worrying factor is that many of these swimming pools in the city don�t have adequate safety measures in place for the swimmers.
In recent times, several accidents were taken place at some swimming pools in the city, pointing fingers at the kind of risks that may be encountered especially by the first time swimmers.
Few years back, a young person lost his life at a swimming pool located in an amusement park in the city, raising a number of questions like availability of basic facilities at the pool that includes qualified life guards, coaches, trainers, first aid, ambulance (depending upon the size of the pool), cleanliness, wash rooms, toilets and above all the overall maintenance of the pool by the pool management.
In most cases, swimming pools in the city don�t have trained life guards. It is also seen that the so called coaches/trainers are not at all trained from any reputed government institutes, although some of them are good swimmers or ex-players who represented the State or the country during their days. But the fact is that a good swimmer or an ex-player may not be a qualified coach, a trainer or a life guard.
It is also seen that first aid facilities and qualified persons to provide immediate first aids are not available at the swimming pools in the city. The conditions of wash rooms and toilets in the swimming pool premises are also not at all hygienic. As a result of such loopholes, some young persons either lost their lives or got injured for no fault of their own.
Therefore, it is high time for the administration to take necessary steps to ensure the safety of swimmers. At the same time, parents/guardians should carry out a survey on the safety measures available in the swimming pools before enrolling their children. The management of the swimming pool concerned should also brief parents/guardians of the swimmers on the facilities available in their swimming pools. Further, the pool managements should take measures for rectifying the loopholes to prevent any untoward incidents in future.