Schools in Chandigarh will soon be participating in a training programme to make students aware of disaster management as a part of the National School Safety Programme. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will provide training to teachers and master trainers.

The authorities have also planned to involve the Engineering department to identify the flaws in the school infrastructure, which will then be repaired.

Emergency School and Road Closings due to bad weather

The aim of the National School Safety Programme is to save lives and prevent injuries to school children, teachers and other staff of school by undertaking capacity building, training, awareness generation activities and reducing underlying risk in existing school buildings.

Previously, the schools did not have any Evacuation Plan or any Standard Operating Procedure (STP) to take care of emergency situations. But now, the government has allocated a sum of Rs 77 lakh to start this programme in the schools of the city.

"We have received the money from the government and will start the project in the coming days when every school will have a disaster management plan. As a part of the programme, school principals will be roped in to spread the message and to bring the desired results," Nodal Officer Bikram Rana told the Indian Express.

In order to raise awareness, the schools will conduct debates and hold poster making and sketching competitions, which will be followed by training given to the students and teachers in the form of mock drills inside the school campus.

"The programme will be implemented gradually. Training of fire extinguishers and utilisation of other equipment will also be given," added Rana. The money allotted by the government will also be used to buy equipments to facilitate the training process.  

Meanwhile, a Delhi government team inspecting schools has stumbled upon various inadequacies, including expired fire extinguishers, empty sand buckets, first-aid boxes filled with expired medicines and dry underground water tanks. The team found that almost every school has deficiencies that could prove disastrous in case of a fire or natural calamity.

The Aam Aadmi Party government will complete the inspection by February 15 and then prepare a detailed report for disaster management plans.