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Hathras stampede: Know how to keep kids safe in crowded areas | – Times of India

The tragic incident that happened at Hathras, Uttar Pradesh has traumatized everyone. Several women and kids were among the 121 people who were killed on that ill fated day. Over 1 lakh devotees are said to have assembled at the ground to listen to the preaching of Narayan Sakar Vishwa Hari, also known as Bhole Baba.
Heavy rain and slippery ground are said to be the main reason behind the stampede that happened soon after devotees rushed to seek the blessings of the Baba.
In such a situation, it is important to keep kids and women safe. Here are a few tips to follow:
Before attending events with large crowds, educate children and women about the potential risks of stampedes and the importance of staying together and following instructions. Discussing a plan in case of separation and designating a meeting point can provide a sense of security. Ensure children are dressed in bright, easily identifiable clothing and carry identification with emergency contact information. Women should consider carrying a whistle or small alarm device that can attract attention in an emergency.
Upon arrival at crowded events, familiarize yourself and your group with the layout, including entrances, exits, and emergency routes. Be mindful of barriers, designated crowd control measures, and signage indicating escape routes. Avoid congested areas and seek out quieter sections or open spaces where movement is less restricted.
If caught in a stampede, remain calm and prioritize protecting the most vulnerable. Adults should hold onto children securely and form a human chain if possible to stay together. Encourage children to stay close and avoid panicking. Women should avoid carrying bulky bags or wearing restrictive clothing that could hinder movement. Move towards the edges of the crowd or find elevated spots where the crowd is thinner.

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In the event of a stampede, guide children and women towards exits or open areas where the crowd is less dense. Avoid moving against the flow of the crowd; instead, move sideways to reduce the risk of falling or being trampled. If someone falls, others should immediately offer assistance, helping them up and guiding them towards safety. Maintain communication and reassure children and women, emphasizing the importance of staying together and following instructions from emergency personnel.
By prioritizing preparation, awareness, and decisive action, parents, guardians, and event organizers can help ensure the safety and well-being of children and women during potentially dangerous stampede situations. Effective communication and proactive measures are key to mitigating risks and promoting a safe environment for everyone involved.

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