Do any of us realise how much panic and chaos was created yesterday because of misinformation and spreading unverified news?

We, who were at work, responsible for the lives, safety and security of hundreds of children were in a fix! We had no way of verifying the news, because every channel was playing the same rumours. Schools nearby the Gulberg locations kept saying they haven't heard anything to prove a blast, but they still had a potential lockdown, because of the fear created. Terrified children were picked up early by harassed parents, classes were disrupted, traffic was out of control. My own son was in school (near one of the rumoured locations) and I had no way of going to get him early. My terrorised parents kept calling me frantically to get home, and I told them I can't. I am on duty. I picked my 2 year old 2 hours after her scheduled pick up time because I was on duty myself till my students left safely.

Many students in our school opted to miss their exam, and left the premises while the exam was underway, which carried on till 3:30 and concluded, thanks to the courage and resilience of our team.

Please.

Please.

Please stop spreading unnecessary fear and believing panic stricken news. We are already knee deep in fear every single day. We don't need more of this.

Let's face it, we are living through the toughest of times. When it's not war, yet it is. When life is not normal, yet it is. We are under threat all the time. We need to be brave, not stupid. We need to hold each other's hand, not grab it and run in whatever direction everyone else is running in. We need to teach our children to stay calm, to think, to follow instructions, to take care of themselves and their fellows, not run for cover at the first sign of distress leaving everything and everyone behind.

The loss of lives is immense and for many irreplaceable. What happens as a result of verified incidences is understandable. Being vigilant and cautious is the need of the hour, but the chaos because of misinformation is nothing less than cruel. I feel these media houses, who create hue and cry if their rights are violated, need to be questioned very seriously at the display of sheer irresponsibility. They should be held accountable too. Just to win the bloody race of who-displayed-which-news-first, they have no ethical boundaries.

Please pause, think and verify and share such news responsibly. It takes a click to share it but it causes mind numbing stress for so many.