Former prime minister Imran Khan's Azadi March is being held today (Wednesday) across the country and some celebrities have taken it upon themselves to make sure participants have all the right safety information they need before heading out. Actors Feroze Khan and Haroon Shahid took to social media and shared tips with their followers on how to be safe while attending the protest.
On Tuesday, Shahid took to Twitter and shared that people attending the march in Karachi at Numaish must come prepared and "carry plenty of water, a hand towel and salt," as these are the antidotes to tear gas. He also said that people shouldn't be attending the protest with their kids.
He also suggested his followers to download an application Bridgefy that allows you to message family or friends while being offline.
How does it work? Bridgefy allows nearby users to communicate without internet access or mobile networks. Instead, the app operates on a mesh network that means it uses nearby Bluetooth connectivity to send your messages.
Khuda Aur Muhabbat actor Khan also shared similar tips and listed out steps that attendees must follow in order to defend themselves against tear gas. He wrote:
Wear glasses. A P-cap and carry a wet towel to cover your face (eyes, nose, mouth), carry a 1.5 litre water bottle with you.
Carry salt to lick because the gas is going to burn your throat with a bitter burning sensation, making breathing difficult which is the worst part. Only salt makes the burning sensation tolerable.
If it gets in your eyes (which it will), don't rub your eyes. It will only make it worse. Instead wash them. It will burn your eyes and you will have a hard time keeping them open.
Never pick up a tear gas shell with your naked hand, it's burning hot.
Here are some additional tips from team Images:
Know the nearest exits
It's important for you to identify the exits during the protest and be prepared for any eventuality. Make sure that you have scoped out the area prior to attending the march and know where to go if you feel uncomfortable.
Make sure that you know more than two exits just in case those are blocked or crowded.
Remember to always carry change when going to a protest. You may not be able to get a Careem or Uber in all the rush and the best way to exit the situation is to catch a rickshaw. Make sure you have enough change to get home safely. Keep your money in a cross-body bag as well as in your pockets.
Stay in a group
If you're attending the march, make sure to go with someone. Stick with your buddy throughout the protest and remember to look out for each other.
Know your emergency numbers
In case your phone and battery pack die on you, you should keep a small notebook with emergency numbers scribbled for your own safety. If nothing else, memorise your family members' numbers in case of emergency.
The right to peaceful protest is guaranteed for every citizen of Pakistan under the Constitution. If you see anyone growing violent at the protest, that's your sign to leave. Remember, your own safety is very important and you must think about yourselves.