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Mock drill: dead played their part amid drill confusion

It was the day of the dead in the Capital as the "deceased" in different "disasters" started walking, talking and having a laugh over the weather.

delhi Updated: Dec 05, 2012 01:52 IST
HT Correspondent

It was the day of the dead in the Capital as the "deceased" in different "disasters" started walking, talking and having a laugh over the weather.

At south Delhi's Birla Vidya Niketan, one of the volunteers, with a "dead" paper tag on his chest, Desh Pran, seemed totally clueless. The 42-year-old sat, stared around as the members of the Emergency Medical Response team tended to other "major", "minor" and "serious" victims. He wrote down his name on a list for documentation of the casualties and obediently lay down on the ground when a medical volunteer asked him to do so.

After five minutes, he vanished, only to reappear a couple of minutes later donning a "civil defence volunteer" shirt. Another 15 minutes later, he was spotted near the school gate, this time helping the traffic situation there.

The two other "dead" put on a near-perfect act. Both Neha Kumari, 22, and Urmila Devi, 30, stayed put and as motionless as possible for over 30-odd minutes. "Last time, I was injured. This time I'm dead," Neha said.

At the Burari grounds, 150-odd civil defence volunteers were waiting since 8am when an ear-shattering sound on the loudspeaker startled them: "Sabhi casualties building ke peechhe aa jayein (All casualties should proceed to back of the building)". Moving towards the temporary cardboard structures, they prepared themselves for something they had been practising for almost three months - to pose dead and injured.

"Initially I felt a bit odd when other volunteers and policemen would pick me up and take me to hospital or where the doctors would 'examine' me. But now I have become used to it," said Sunita Rani, 19.

At Lotus Temple, one of the "dead", after lying under the winter sun for more than half an hour, opened an eye and requested an official for a stretcher. "They would not have even noticed had I not prompted one of them to pick me up," she said.