Gurgaon observes Flood Safety Week: Residents feel it’s a good call

Drawing competitions, street plays and seminars are being conducted as part of a five-day flood safety week, to make Gurgaonites learn about handling a flood-like situation in the city.

gurgaon Updated: Jun 21, 2017 19:03 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Gurgaon,Street Play,Flood
Waterlogging was a common sight at several spots in Gurgaon after the heavy downpour in Delhi- NCR on Monday morning.(Sanjeev Verma/HT )

For some the arrival of monsoon brings the joy of getting soaked in the rain and indulging in guilt laden snacks alongside posting some creative statuses on social media. For Gurgaonites, however, monsoon means waterlogged roads, getting stuck in knee-deep water and the permission to work from home, to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Remember how last year National Highway 8 was flooded, leaving thousands of commuters stranded, and police urging people to not travel to the Millennium City?

So this year, Centre for Disaster Management, Haryana Institute of Public Administration announced a five-day Flood Safety Week, in all districts of Haryana, from June 19 onwards. “It’s a five-day long mass awareness programme that aims to educate people on the dos and don’ts of tackling a flood-like situation through drawing competitions, seminars and street plays at public places and NGOs that help slum children,” says Surbhi Garg, a research officer with the district Disaster Management Authority, Gurgaon.

The move has amused the outsiders. “Flood Safety Week in Gurgaon! Really? Does it make any sense? I mean it’s not [West] Bengal,” says Amol Roy, a resident of Delhi. But some residents of Gurgaon feel it’s a wise move. “I believe it’s a good call,” says Surbhi Sharma, a Gurgaon resident.

“It’s important for people to be aware as a disaster can strike any moment,” says Garg, adding, “We aspire to strengthen the capacity of individuals in tacking disasters of various kinds. First aid training is also conducted as part of the seminars.”

A group of performers stage a street play as part of the Flood Safety Week in Gurgaon.

“Mera Bharat badal raha hai, mera badal raha Haryana,” is how a performer Gulab Singh from the theatre group Shiv Shakti Kala Manch begins a street play. This group of eight artists attempts at educating the citizens about disaster management. “We create awareness through Haryanvi folk music, dance, drama and by cracking jokes,” says Singh.

As part of the theatrical performance, Singh shares tips such as: “Use a stick to navigate in deep waters. Stay away from wet muddy grounds, as chances of slipping there are higher. One should keep the electric appliances and gadgets switched off and unplugged at the time of leaving the house, and also carry medicines at all times.”

There are, however, some residents who feel the initiative is futile. Sarika Panda Bhatt, a Gurgaon resident says, “How does a street play help resolve the flood-like stuation in Gurgaon? (laughs). Will it solve the problem? The solution lies in creating the right infrastructure. Urban flood is a man-made situation, not a natural phenomena.”

But there are a few residents who feel it’s important for the government to disseminate such information. “Usually one is not exposed to this kind of information. I think it’s a good idea as people ought to know about all this,” says Sunita Jaggia, another Gurgaon resident.

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First Published: Jun 21, 2017 19:00 IST