After the recent Pandoh Dam tragedy in Himachal Pradesh, there is much speculation on the subject of student safety on excursion trips. Though college trips are essentially about fun, authorities in charge need to accord adequate attention to safety measures. The following things need to be kept in mind:
It helps to be informed
Before planning a trip, research the geographical and climatic conditions of the place intensively and get a grasp over the plausible mishaps and disasters. Also extract information from the locals about the potential hazards that can be reasonably predicted in the area.
Add the educational element
Colleges and schools should make sure that such trips have an educational flavour that is relevant to the curriculum. “Though we thoroughly enjoyed our college trip last year, most of us felt that it fell short of being an educational tour,” says Shrishti Wahal, a student of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
Stay connected to your families
Keeping family members informed of your whereabouts is a must. Keep the numbers of your friends and accompanying teachers on the speed dial to avoid the slightest of delay during emergencies.
Track pants, shorts, loose shirts and tops are the must-haves for a trip. Do not wear tight-fitted or uncomfortable clothes as they are bound to restrict movement. Make it a point to wear comfortable and gripping shoes to avoid slipping and falling.
Include trained professionals
“Schools and colleges should hire trained professionals to carry out outdoor activities to minimise any risk that an activity may entail” says Dr Rajeev Tyagi, vice-principal, Mount Carmel School, Dwarka.
Be alert and calm
If you are traveling alone or with a tour group, always be confident and look like you know where you are going, as a person who looks lost is the most vulnerable. Listen closely to the sounds of whistles or hooters or sirens as they may be a call for emergency or danger.