Most schools in the capital are giving real-time lessons on campus on disaster management, safety buzzwords being planning and mock drill.
Based on directives by Ranchi deputy commissioner and chairman of Ranchi district disaster management authority Vinay Kumar Choubey, both teachers and students are learning to handle natural and man-made disasters.
Schools are forming various teams based on specific actions — fire alarm and firefighting, evacuation, search and rescue, first aid and transport management.
Some schools in Ranchi, which are effectively following the disaster management programme, include Gouri Dutta Mandelia High School, Army Public School, DAV Public School, Hehal, DAV Public School, Gandhinagar, DAV Kapil Dev, Kairali School, Loreto Convent, Vivekananda Vidya Mandir, St Margaret’s Girls High School, St Aloysius High School and Bishop Westcott Girls’ School.
To test the disaster preparedness of teachers and students alike, mock drills are being conducted on a regular basis in these schools.
Schools are also ensuring that basic safety provisions are in place.
These include fire extinguishers in labs and classrooms, lightning conductors on four corners of the roofs, staircases for safe evacuation and provision of siren.
Principal of Kairali School Rajan Verghese said: “We have firefighting equipment at vulnerable sites such as the library, labs and reading room, besides enough water storage facilities to deal with blaze.”
Four eviction points and a seven-member disaster management committee also exist in the school, Verghese added.
Principal of DAV Kapil Dev, M.K. Sinha, added another key point. “We have also displayed contact numbers of local thana, police control room, ambulance, fire and disaster control on our notice board,” Sinha said.
Rimjhim Rani, a teacher at DAV Public School, Hehal, and a member of the cradle’s search and rescue team, added: “We are regularly giving students training to deal with mishaps such as fire. Recently, we had roped in NCC cadets to demonstrate firefighting to students from Classes V to X in an open field.”
When contacted, Ranchi DC Choubey expressed “satisfaction” over the seriousness with which most schools were dealing with disaster management.
“Our school disaster management plan seeks to identify and manage hazards, prepare and respond to emergencies so as to mitigate the effect of a hazard. Disaster management planning begins with awareness. The exercise consists of a guided dialogue led by the teacher, who then develops a disaster management plan,” Choubey added.
What’s needed is “quick reaction”, he added. “Teachers and students must come up with appropriate solutions, but quickly, during mishaps,” he said.