A packed Hamsadhwani Open Air Theatre was the site of a unique performance on Friday afternoon, which made the gathering gape in delight and gasp in amazement. Almost all those present, however, wished that the staged event would never happen in reality.
A live demonstration on earthquake response was organised by the National Disaster Response Force at Pragati Maidan - the venue of the 32nd India International Trade Fair - as an attempt to get the residents of Delhi ready for a disaster. The Capital falls within the high-risk seismic Zone IV.
As part of the exercise, a temporary structure - Ever Green - gets hit by a temblor, which is 7.8 on the Richter scale, and the trained personnel showed the steps to be taken using the right amount of manpower and mechanical skills to meet the eventuality.
As the jawans of the 5th Battalion of the NDRF - who had helped the quake and Tsunami victims in Japan earlier this year under the guidance of commander Alok Avasthy - performed their disaster drill with practised ease and dexterity, the spectators, which included Delhi policemen and students from various city schools, clapped and cheered them on.
Keshav Nanawat, a Class 10 student of Government Boys Secondary School in Madangir, who came with around 150-odd others from his school, explained why he enjoyed the show. "There are so many things we didn't know about the rescue action that are done after a natural disaster," Keshav said.
"The most impressive were the dogs. They were so obedient and skillful," Keshav added.
Before the disaster drill, a dog show, which included seven NDRF canines and their trainers, was a treat for the eyes. The dogs walked, sat, crawled and even saluted according to instructions, apart from showing eye-dazzling skills like jumping through fire.
The drill was organised under the aegis of the National Disaster Management Authority, which is participating in the trade fair this year to bring awareness about managing various kind of disasters.
On Saturday, another live demonstration on tackling chemical disaster will be organised.