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Majority of schools in Southeast Delhi not quake-proof, finds disaster survey

The schools were given a list of 110 queries. Conclusions were drawn based on their responses and field inspections.

Written by MAYURA JANWALKAR | New Delhi | Published: April 27, 2015 3:41:09 am

Of the 37 schools surveyed in Southeast Delhi, only 14.29 per cent schools are quake-resistant, a survey conducted on behalf of the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said.

“No school was found to be properly prepared for disasters. Schools may not be in a position to safeguard the lives of children, teachers and staff in case of any natural or man-made hazard,” the survey, carried out by Global Rescue Consultants Private Limited (GRCPL), said.

Over the weekend, Delhi has been shaken by the tremors of the Nepal earthquake. While the Delhi administration made it clear that the capital had no cause for concern, the tremors point to a need for disaster preparedness.

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The surveyed schools included both public and private schools in the Southeast district. Some of the schools are Oxford Public School in Nehru Nagar, K R Manglam World School in Greater Kailash II, Don Bosco School in Alaknanda, Delhi Public School in East of Kailash, Guru Harkishan Public School in Kalkaji, Khadijatul Kubra Girls Public School in Jamia Nagar and Hemnani Public School in Lajpat Nagar, among others.

“The schools were surveyed between October and December 2014. The DDMA had undertaken the exercise for planning capacity building in order to prepare a workable disaster management plan,” Saurabh Gautam, director of GRCPL, said.

While different schools have failed to meet various parameters, the survey, in its key findings, said, “No school has a comprehensive and workable disaster management plan.” The survey also mentioned, “No teacher or staff in any school is skilled enough to act correctly in case of an emergency.”

The schools were given a list of 110 queries. Conclusions were drawn based on their responses and field inspections.

The questions included two related to earthquakes — whether schools held regular mock drills for quake safety and if all buildings/blocks were quake-resistant. Many schools fell short on the two parameters, the survey found. “A majority of schools were not sure about the soundness of buildings in the event of an earthquake,” it said.

Other key findings in the report stated that a majority of schools did not have maps of safe and vulnerable places. Many did not have an evacuation map and those who did have one, had not documented it.

“We carried out these surveys to create awareness among schools to take the necessary steps to make a disaster management plan. None of the schools were found to be prepared to tackle a disaster. Some did not know how to prepare a plan so we held a workshop for them. In March we asked them to carry out hazard vulnerability risk assessment in their schools so that they could prepare a plan,” CEO, DDMA (Southeast) Ajay Kumar said.

The survey cited the example of a primary school in East of Kailash as ‘the best learning from the survey’.

The school showed that kindergarten students too could be trained. The report stated: “On asking the teacher about the disaster management, she demonstrated the skills imparted to KG students on safety. We were amazed to see that on a single instruction from the class teacher, children performed a perfect ‘drop, cover, hold’ drill.”

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