College students came together to learn more about disaster management at a two-day workshop held at KPB Hinduja College of Commerce earlier this week.
Around 140 student volunteers of the National Service Scheme (NSS) from 38 colleges attended the workshop where the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s disaster cell taught students about management of resources and responsibilities while dealing with emergencies. The students were introduced to the various kinds of natural as well as man-made disasters.
“On the first day of the workshop, we were told about the different kinds of disasters. The way to deal with each kind is different, we were told. It helped us understand how to manage the risks in an emergency,” said Rohan Kunchikar, a student of KPB Hinduja, who attended the workshop.
“It was a practical workshop,” said Mumbai University’s NSS convenor B S Bidwe. He said that students were made to practice risk management techniques in simulated environments. The session covered topics such as earthquake, flood, cyclone, fire, and stampede. It also focused on the rules of staying safe and the five points to remember during a disaster – do not panic; be calm, be cool; do not spread rumours and do not believe them; do not run, walk fast; and apply presence of mind.
“We were also taught to deal with casualties and injuries. For example, we were taught how to prepare a stretcher using bamboo sticks, clothes and ropes,” said Kunchikar.
The workshop is timely, especially in a year when several citizens lost their lives to disasters such as the Elphinstone stampede and building collapse on Pakmodia street. Bidwe said the workshop was aimed at spreading awareness on how to respond to disasters effectively among the younger generation.
Minu Madlani, principal, Hinduja College, said, “Our aim was to identify different types of disasters and how we can reduce the risks of it. The session also helped the students to develop a coping mechanism if disaster strikes.”