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Partying this New Year's Eve? Stay smart, stay safe!

Last updated on: December 30, 2013 13:34 IST

Partying this New Year's Eve? Stay smart, stay safe!

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Abhishek Mande Bhot

It isn't difficult for the biggest night of the year to become the worst nightmare of your life.

Alcohol, drugs, large crowds, hecklers -- New Year's Eve has all the elements of a disaster waiting to happen.

Let this December 31 not be the cause of gloom for you. Here's what you must do to stay safe.

It is possible to not be drunk and still have fun," says Astha Goel.

Like most of us, the 18-year-old Mumbai student is looking forward to her New Year's Eve party too.

Even so, she's aware of just what can go wrong on the most awaited night of the year.

She goes out in groups, keeps her parents posted of her whereabouts and has a trusted male friend around her when she's out clubbing.

In many ways, the short answer to how to stay out of trouble on New Year's Eve is: 'Use your head'.

But in the heady hours before the big night, it's best to spell things out.

So here we go:

1. Select your party venue wisely

Ranjan Pithawala, Co-Founder and CTO of OyeParty, an online start-up that that lists nightlife options, says it's crucial to select your party wisely.

"Before you purchase the tickets to one of the parties, do a bit of research on the organisers.

"Preferably go to hotel events. They have their own security.

"Open air concerts can turn into a stampede situation unless of course there is a reputed organiser behind it For instance a large event organised by Sunburn wouldn't typically go out of hand because they have managed large crowds."

2. Remember, just because you're at a house party doesn't mean you're safe

Even if you are at a house party, remain cautious," Vishwas Nangre Patil, Additional Commissioner of Police, Mumbai says.

"If someone starts misbehaving with you, make your discomfort felt," he says. "We had deployed a lot of policemen. Dial 100 and we will be there."

3. Don't drink and drive

This one should be a no-brainer right?

Apparently not!

According to a paper published in the International Journal of Research in Management & Technology, over 336 people die because of road accidents every day. 40 per cent of these accidents occur under the influence of alcohol.

Pithawala spells out the obvious:

"If you can't resist drinking, hire reliable cab services.

"Bengaluru had a little less than 40 accidents last New Year's Eve on the Outer ring road alone."

Since hailing a radio taxi can be a challenge on the day, OyeParty has tied up with local private car drivers who they vouch for. You could reach them here.


Image: Live it up on the biggest night of the year!
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
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4. Avoid driving altogether, rent a hotel room

Ankur Wadhawan, founder of Partyopia.com, a Delhi-based start-up that provides party packages and books venues, suggests a better way out:

"Rather than driving back in the middle of the night it isn't such a bad idea to book a room in a local hotel and spend the night there.

It might be a little steep but it is also safer."

5. Go out in a group

There's strength in numbers.

"Couples are the easiest targets for hecklers," Astha Goel points out.

"Go partying in a group that you know well.

"Even within the group, I ensure there is a trusted male friend or a cousin who can take care of me should something go wrong," she says.

28-year-old IT infrastructure consultant Ambuj Sinha adds:

"Be aware of the gender ratio in your group. These may be your best friends but if you're the only girl or the ratio is particularly skewed, ensure you have some of your girlfriends tag along."

6. Always keep someone posted of your whereabouts

Inform your family, near and dear ones the location of your party. This is so that your next of kin are aware of your whereabouts," Saloni Malhotra, founder of SafeCity.in writes in an email.

"(Also) make sure your phone is fully charged before you step out of the house. You never know when you might need it," she adds.

There are several free apps that can relay your location to select numbers. Take your pick here!

 


Image: Party your heart out this New Year's Eve but also keep someone posted of your whereabouts.
Photographs: Paulo Whitaker PW/Reuters

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7. Beware of strangers

You may be grown up but some rules of childhood still apply.

"If partying with strangers make sure you take (basic) precautions.

"Don't leave your drink unattended, know what's in your drink and be careful if you have to leave the party with a stranger, Saloni Malhotra says.

Sinha adds: "If you're with a stranger, it helps to be selectively honest. Don't cry about your past relationships and don't certainly lay down your CV.

"Many people simply gulp down alcohol like they're having soft drinks.

"Learn to hold your drink. It is important to be aware of how much alcohol you've consumed and exactly how much you are capable of."

8. Learn about the city's quirks

Sinha says that it is as important to get 'learn the "habits of a city just as you would learn the habits of a person."

"Every city has its distinct culture. You need to learn to get around it. Certain things might be respected in one city but not in another.

"A simple instance "Bhaiyya" is used derogatorily in a city like Mumbai but is an acceptable greeting in Delhi.

"Most importantly, don't ever stereotype a place. As we've unfortunately learnt Mumbai isn't any safer than Delhi. Things can go wrong anywhere. Always be aware of that."

9. Be responsible

Vishwas Nangre Patil has a final word of advice for men.

If you're going out with your female friends, he says, you ought to be responsible for them.

He says: "I've seen young men just lying around drunk after a party.

If you can't be responsible for yourself how can you protect those around you?

If a female friend has agreed to go out with you, it's because she's put her trust in you. Don't ever break it."


Image: If you're partying with strangers make sure you take basic precautions.
Photographs: Jim Urquhart/Reuters

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