There has been much discussion in India about the alarming drowning statistics, spurred by stories like one that appeared in The Times of India in spring 2015. Two pre-teen boys drowned in separate swimming pools – at a school and an apartment complex – within an hour of each other in the city of Bengaluru, the capital of the state of Karnataka.

The tragedy prompted the secretary of the Karnataka Swimming Association to speak out, saying that certified lifeguards should be mandatory at apartment buildings. The upkeep of such properties is handled by housing societies (apartment associations run by residents) and, added S.R. Sindia, that is a big concern because they are not trained on pool safety and maintenance.

At least one Indian state – Maharashtra – has taken steps to remedy such situations. Several new housing projects with swimming pools are being built in Maharashtra, and government officials there also were worried about what they saw as the need for lifeguards. They decided to make it mandatory for such projects to have lifeguards. Now it will be up to the individual housing societies to appoint them for their pools. Read More