Even as Tuesday's mega mock drill exposed glaring loopholes in emergency response in times of crisis, schools have started giving students a lesson or two in disaster management.
A group of school students from the Government Sarvodaya Vidyalaya have undergone training by the Delhi Emergency Management Exercise (DEMEx) to help in times of disaster.
Other private schools in the city have also started ensuring their staff and students are well trained to cope with any form of disaster.
“We have trained our staff and students to cope with any form of disaster. They will respond within two minutes of an alarm going off. There is a separate team that checks the alertness of teachers. We hold back a couple of students during our drills so as to understand whether or not teachers can identify who’s missing,” said Rita Sen, principal, Delhi Public School (Rohini).
Other than putting the students through a regular drill, schools have also ensured that students are accompanied by fellow students by way of a buddy system.
“It is most important to ensure that students are first vacated so as to avoid a stampede-like situation. Other than training them thoroughly about fire escape routes and response to an earthquake, we have formed a buddy system by which students can assist each other in a disaster,” said Madhulika Sen, principal, Tagore International School (Vasant Vihar).
Earlier, the Delhi government had drawn a list of more than 150 schools that had failed to submit their disaster management plans.
“We have been insisting that schools should be ready with a disaster management plan. This issue is not taken seriously enough. But schools should understand that if there is a large-scale disaster they have to act first instead of relying on response agencies,” said a Delhi government official.