[PART 1 OF 5] GOOGLE MAPS INFORMATION
Business listing for Delhi Rock:
Primary defamatory, harassing and spurious review:
Secondary reviews submitted by associates based on false information:
Photos which have been posted publicly:
[PART 2 OF 5] DETAILED INCIDENT REPORT
The first review above (item 1) in the list on my Google business listing (I am the owner of Delhi Rock, a climbing gym in Delhi, delhirock.com) is from a customer who visited us with their friends on March 27th 2021. Our standard process for beginners is to include them in a climbing safety program called Climbing 101 (https://delhirock.com/climbing-101/), which this user declined, stating that his group was experienced and could climb on their own. I spoke to the user twice on the telephone, on both calls he insisted his group was competent to climb without assistance.
The group arrived, we issued climbing equipment to two of the parties and checked that they were allowed to handle rope safety (referred to as “belaying”). When they passed our belay check, we gave them the appropriate technical equipment. At a later time during the session, I saw that they had handed this equipment to a third person who was belaying alone, incorrectly. I immediately walked over and corrected this person’s technique, and asked that he be supervised. This instance could have resulted in injury and harm as well, due entirely to the group’s disregard for our safety norms (which are commonly applied across climbing centres worldwide).
After a very long session, at nearing the three hour mark, one of the users (Pooja) fell from a height of 3-4 feet and landed awkwardly on the ground, resulting in injury – later shown to be a broken bone. I happened to be looking in their direction, and saw that the user had not moved crashpads under where they were climbing, and were also not being spotted. Both of these are necessary and reasonable precautions while climbing. Crashpads are large mattress-like pieces of equipment, but stiffer than a regular mattress, which climbers are expected to place under them when they climb, to catch a fall. Spotting is the act of having a second person ensure that in case you fall in an awkward manner, someone is there to help guide your fall a bit, and also to make sure you fall onto a crashpad and not the ground.
In this case, neither had been done. A gap in coverage was visible to me from where I was standing, and before I could walk over to advise them to re-arrange the mats, the user fell. She fell awkwardly and suddenly, and with her right foot landed awkwardly on the ground. It turned out that this resulted immediately in a break, unfortunately. With her left leg, which landed shortly after her right, she kicked away one of our crashpads. Unfortunately, this is precisely the scenario where attention to safety is needed – appropriate arrangement of crashpads, as well as spotting, and neither was done. Note: most of the climbing gyms in India use crashpads rather than fixed padded flooring, so Delhi Rock’s practice is not unique or unusual at all.
Please note: one of the other climbers at Delhi Rock that day, Mr Nimish Nagru, was present and thankfully observed the accident – he happened to be looking at the exact place where the fall occurred. Nimish corroborated my version of the events, about Pooja not being spotted, and also about the crashpads being improperly arranged, and can be contacted at +91-9871325148 in order for this to be confirmed.
Manoj Prakassh (spelling on their google profile, person responsible for item 1 above) however immediately claimed that our crashpads had shifted, causing the injury. When I denied this, and tried to point out that our crashpads are heavy and large, and not prone to slippage, he got angry and behaved very rudely. The next morning, one of the members of the group called us and both he and Manoj then threatened that a police report would be filed unless we fixed our crashpads, and installed permanent flooring. I did not accede to this demand, and simply said that the accident happened for a complex set of factors, and that our crashpads are safe if used appropriately.
Since the 28th of March, Manoj has launched an extensive campaign on social media to defame Delhi Rock, claiming incorrectly that our crashpads are improperly installed, slipped, and that the accident happened because Pooja fell onto the seams between crashpads, which then shifted, and that she then fell onto the ground.
None of this is remotely true, and the reality is that climbers are responsible for their own safety at Delhi Rock. When we guide them during our sessions, our instructors take on this responsibility, but when users decline their assistance, as in this case, they’re responsible for themselves. Our equipment did not fail either; our crashpads are large and heavy, and have a high-friction surface. The legal waiver signed by the five users also indicates that they agreed to comply with our norms of use (which in this case includes spotting and the appropriate use of crashpads). You can see a copy of the waivers signed by these users here where we clearly explain this to them:
Please also note that in addition to the safety violations pointed out above, the group also did numerous other things which are clear violations of policy and show their poor behaviour:
- A sixth person was admitted to the centre and we were informed she would not be climbing. When I later checked the camera logs, I found that she had participated both in climbing, as well as in warming up, etc. This person did not sign our waiver, or make payment.
- During the session, one of the men of the group removed his shirt while climbing even though we are in a gurudwara compound, and it was not very warm. We had to ask him to put his shirt back on.
- The same person was then caught on camera putting his hand on the buttocks of the sixth person, a woman, a very strange and not very respectful act in a climbing gym.
After having refused our help to guide their group, improper “teaching” of safety technique and risky behaviour during climbing, not paying for one user, and most importantly not observing basic safety norms for climbing (proper use of crashpads, and spotting during bouldering) during the final moments which led to a regrettable accident, the group then tried to put the blame on Delhi Rock for its use of crashpads. Please note that our crashpads are actually far higher quality (larger, thicker, heavier) than standard crashpads, and were perfectly functional and maintained, but simply not used in this instance.
The waiver they signed, our verbal instructions, and general climbing safety norms were all violated by the group, repeatedly, eventually resulting in an accident for which Delhi Rock cannot be held responsible.
[PART 3 OF 5] OUR FOLLOW-UPS
Despite our lack of liability for the accident, we have still taken the following steps to remedy the situation which occurred:
1) We immediately refunded the climbing fees for all 5 users, total of Rs 2,500
2) We immediately began work on installing permanent padded flooring at the site of the accident, to ensure that in future users do not need to arrange crashpads, with suitable permanently installed flooring. This is now complete.
3) We have changed our intake process, to ensure that all climbers new to Delhi Rock take our standard safety-oriented Climbing 101 course. More than anything else, this incident showed us that the standards of climbing safety in India are very poor, and that we need to be more vigilant with users who claim experience but do not actually possess sufficient experience or training or both to climb safely at the centre.
4) We post prominent signs all over the centre indicating that users need to spot each other while bouldering. We also prominently posted a list of basic safety dos and donts to ensure that users are reminded every time they visit Delhi Rock of our basic safety norms.
5) We conducted a thorough review of safety at the centre, and did a series of smaller improvements: we replaced four climbing ropes which had gotten a bit stiff; we moved the location of our slackline from a place where it is relatively exposed to a fall on concrete to an area with rubber padded flooring; we did extensive maintenance and repairs on two of our other specialised floors (a wooden floor used for dance, and a padded floor used for aerial arts practice) to ensure that even minor defects are fixed to ensure maximally safe practice.
[PART 4 OF 5] LEGAL CONSEQUENCES
Despite efforts on our part to maintain a positive relationship despite the accident, the group has now taken to publicly and maliciously defaming us. All but two of the Google Maps posts above (reviews and photos) are from people who did not visit Delhi Rock, and are instead a part of this group’s broader circle, who have been told inaccurate and misleading information.
In essence, the group led by Manoj is using twisted facts and the tragedy of the situation (Pooja’s broken leg) to publicly malign our reputation and intimidate us, rather than accept responsibility for their own actions. They exhibited the same contempt for our norms and safety standards during their visit, which led inevitably to this accident. There was no negligence on Delhi Rock’s part whatsoever.
I have consequently issued a legal notice to the group’s four men (Manoj, Shubham, Robin and Aryan) below, which was sent on 8th April 2021 to the group by my lawyer, Mr Anurag Bhati (Chamber No. 406, District Court Surajpur, Greater Noida, 201308):
The intention of the notice is to alert the four participants, but primarily Manoj, who is the chief instigator, that their public campaign (via our Google Maps profile) to discredit Delhi Rock will not be tolerated. My advocate has spoken to Manoj, and we’re still hoping for a mutual and conciliatory resolution, but if we are unable to achieve this, we will pursue resolution in the courts for defamation, harassment and loss of business due to this public campaign.
[PART 5 OF 5] LEGAL REQUEST TO GOOGLE INDIA
Kindly remove the content enumerated above as numbers 1 through 18; as this is a part of a baseless, malicious and entirely unfounded campaign by one individual (Manoj Prakash) to disavow his and his group’s role in the accident which occurred at Delhi Rock.
There was absolutely no negligence on our part, and we are being attacked baselessly and publicly, with consequent loss of prestige and business. Further, Google Maps is not the forum to take up these matters, and is being abused by the user (Manoj Prakash) to achieve his own nasty and malicious purpose.
If this could be addressed as soon as possible, we would be enormously grateful. With thanks,
On behalf of Delhi Rock
C-12 IFS Apartments, Mayur Vihar Ph 1, Delhi 110091