|The project co-ordinator of Integrity Development Foundation, Santosh Kumar, briefs students on disaster management
at Bankipore Girls’ High School in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Jai Prakash
Students of Class IX and XI of Bankipore Girls’ High School now know exactly what to do when an earthquake strikes — to stay calm and duck under a table.
On Tuesday, the Integrity Development Foundation (IDF), with support from Unicef, organised an interactive session on disaster management in the school to create awareness among 250 students.
Wasi Aslam, the focal person for disaster risk reduction, school safety project of IDF, spoke about how to handle a situation when an earthquake strikes. Aslam said: “One should not panic when an earthquake occurs. Instead, look for available resources. One should go for “duck cover hold”, implying that if one has to manage in a room or a hall, one should hold on to something hard or strong like a table and sit under it like a duck.
For example, if one is in a classroom, she should look for corners or tables.”
Santosh Kumar, the project co-ordinator of school safety project, IDF, focused on how to act during fires. Kumar explained the “stop, drop and roll” phenomena, where “one should not remain standing”. “A fire forms poisonous gases and most deaths are caused by suffocation. The poisonous gases float at three feet above the earth’s surface. A person should cover his mouth and nose and lie on the floor before rolling to help extinguish the fire. The person should also not inhale the gases, which reduces the chances of death.”
The IDF team also explained the various types of fire to the students. Kumar said: “There are five types of fire — A, B, C, D and E. A-type fire refers to carbon-producing fire, which could be extinguished by water. B-type fire refers to fire produced by petrochemicals, which could be extinguished by foam or dry sand. C-type fire refers to fire produced by LPG and short circuits, which could be extinguished by dry powder (ammonium sulphate), dry sand or soil. D-type refers to fire in mines, which could be extinguished by potassium chloride. E-type fire refers to fire sparked off by electrical appliances. Carbon dioxide powder acts as an extinguisher in such a situation.”
School principal Bilkees Jahan said: “These types of events are very important. Every child should be aware of how to manage natural disasters.”
The students too enjoyed the interactive session too.
In a reply to a question by the IDF team members, Shabnam Parveen of Class XI explained what to do when an earthquake strikes. To a similar poser, Nikhat Khatoon of Class XI replied: “One should not panic when an earthquake takes place and help other people around.” Aditi Rani of the same class explained the meaning of natural disasters, while Rammi Kumari of the same class said she found the session “very informative”.