Schools con­tinue to flout safety norms

DNA (Delhi) - - IN-DEPTH - Sak­shi Chand sak­shi.chand@dnain­

Re­cent cases of crimes against stu­dents have forced schools in Delhi-NCR to tighten se­cu­rity, but quite a few in­sti­tu­tions re­main a po­ten­tial threat, a re­al­ity check by DNA has re­vealed.

Schools have asked guards to be vig­i­lant and leave only af­ter chil­dren have left. Some schools have re­stricted the en­try of pri­vate driv­ers, and gone for ver­i­fi­ca­tion of their staff.

Delhi Pub­lic School in Noida has ac­ti­vated its Door Frame Metal De­tec­tors. Se­cu­rity per­son­nel are strict in ask­ing ques­tions, frisk­ing vis­i­tors and mak­ing ver­i­fi­ca­tion calls. Teach­ers check on kids dur­ing their dis­per­sal. After­school ac­tiv­i­ties are hap­pen­ing but with tight se­cu­rity. Only par­ents can pick up chil­dren. En­try and exit from a sin­gle gate is there to avoid con­fu­sion.

Sim­i­lar ar­range­ments were seen at Vishwa Bharati Pub­lic School, Noida, where all gates are closed. Ear­lier, one gate was al­ways open. Guards have been given in­struc­tions to ask for vis­i­tors’ de­tails be­fore let­ting them in if needed. Every minute de­tail is checked with teach­ers.

At the Gov­ern­ment Girls’ Se­nior Sec­ondary School in South Delhi’s Ch­hat­tarpur, se­cu­rity dur­ing school hours looks fine. How­ever, the sit­u­a­tion changes quickly af­ter school hours. Now, any­one can go in and come out, no ques­tions asked. An­i­mals can also be seen roam­ing around freely.

Liquor shops and to­bacco kiosks can eas­ily be spot­ted near some schools. Amity In­ter­na­tional School in South Delhi’s Saket has a liquor shop just 100 me­tres away. Sim­i­larly, two liquor shops at Ganga Shopping Com­plex in Noida are not far from schools such as Vishwa Bharati Pub­lic School, Army Pub­lic School and Lord Ma­havira School.

Lo­cals claim that some stu­dents in uni­form are spot­ted sip­ping beer, try­ing to hide their school badges. “There is a wine shop at the en­trance to the mar­ket. There are many to­bacco kiosks, too. The beer shop has moved to­wards the back. When cops pa­trol the main road, they can­not see what chil­dren are up to,” says Pradeep Ku­mar, a shop­per at the mar­ket.

Hundreds of protesters set ablaze a liquor shop near Ryan In­ter­na­tional School in Gu­ru­gram, two days af­ter a 7-year-old child was bru­tally mur­dered in a cam­pus toi­let by a bus at­ten­dant who also tried to sex­u­ally as­sault him. Protesters al­leged that driv­ers and con­duc­tors of­ten had liquor from the shop and could use toi­lets meant for stu­dents. Lo­cals also said the school play­ground, which has no bound­ary wall,

opens right in front of the liquor shop. This, they said, had made the play­ground a den of crim­i­nals. “We are in shock post what hap­pened in Gu­ru­gram. The first thought was, this could hap­pen to our chil­dren as well. We trusted the school when we dropped our kids there. Now, you stay scared till they’re back home,” says Bhavna Ma­lik, mother of two who study at a prom­i­nent school in Noida. The toi­lets and the wa­ter cooler at Dak­shini Dilli Na­gar Nigam Prat­i­bha Vidyalaya in Saket’s G block is open to auto-rick­shaw driv­ers and lo­cals. This cor­re­spon­dent has an easy en­try. A woman does ask the pur­pose of the visit, but only later on.

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