On the tri-centenary of the 1720 earthquake in Delhi, experts have said that the least we can do as our tribute to victims is to equip ourselves better. All high-rise apartments and houses in old buildings, particularly those in areas where the ground mostly has soft soil, should make it mandatory to hold a regular earthquake readiness drill.
Dr Anshu Sharma, co-founder of the nonprofit organisation SEEDS, said this while launching a month-long campaign – Aaj Ki Tayarri Kal Ki Suraksha: A Family Earthquake Safety Initiative – to create awareness through a Facebook Live event on Sunday.
SEEDS, works on protecting lives and livelihoods of people exposed to disasters. The live event was designed to raise awareness about how Delhi-NCR should work towards becoming risk ready, and how citizens can prepare themselves and their families to protect against earthquakes. The initiative is part of the Honeywell Safe Schools programme that SEEDS is implementing, in partnership with the Education Department, Government of Delhi.
Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister of Delhi stated on the occasion said, “Working on disaster is not just a priority but also a need of the hour. Safe Delhi will be a strong Delhi. We must engage the community, parents and children.”
Aaj Ki Tayarri Kal Ki Suraksha: A Family Earthquake Safety Initiative is a campaign designed to educate people and to communicate on how earthquake safety planning by families can mitigate risks and play a vital role in saving many lives. To run over a month, the program will educate people on need for a survival kit, called GoBag; and ways of assessing risk and accordingly strengthening homes, workplaces and schools. It will also include a family safety helpline bot, online masterclasses to raise knowledge and community engagement using social media platforms.
During the live event, children who are part of the Honeywell Safe Schools programme in East Delhi conducted a mock drill with their families. Strict distancing and health protocols were maintained during the drill, in view of the prevailing Covid-19 situation. A ‘Family Safety Plan’ approach curated by the subject experts at SEEDS was also showcased during the live session.
Explaining about the campaign concept, Dr. Anshu Sharma, said, “Having worked in the aftermath of all major earthquakes in the country over the past 25 years, we know that earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do. It is extremely important for people to be ready and have the essentials that they will need in case an earthquake strikes. The idea is not to panic but to empower yourself and your family with information and tools that will put you under a safety cover.”