I feel very safe here in Amritsar. Every time we go out to town, to the Golden Temple, and to all the different places where we go during our field trips, all of the staff are on alert and watching carefully for any potential risks. Mr. Bedi is the General Director of the school. As a formal intelligence officer, he serves as our eyes and ears in the community and helps us maintain a close relationship with government agencies and police. He was a close friend of our founder the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan, and has served here since the school was founded. He oversees the security operations at the school and informs us whenever there are any potential risks. Of course by Guru’s Grace we are always covered, but it is also our responsibility to ensure that on the material plane we do everything that is possible to assure the safety of every student entrusted to us.
The security guards on campus have their office at the main entrance of the school and every time we go out, they take note of the students and the staff members who leave the grounds and they keep track of who returns. The same care is taken with the teachers as well, and every person who comes here to campus, whether they are visitors or employees. During the day the guards are stationed at the main entrance at all times. Some guard the gate and others make rounds day and night.
Every night a guard is stationed at the entrance of the girls and the boys dorms as well. They stand there the whole night and when they see us going to formation for Parkarma Seva in the Amrit Vela they are present. The guards greet us in a friendly way but you can tell by their attitude that they take their job very seriously and they perform it with a lot of respect and awareness. When we come back from Seva they are still at the dorms. They open the door for us and they continue with their shift until sunrise.
Another fundamental part of our security is the system of student formations in which the students can be gathered at any time from all over campus to stand together in a specific formation so that each student can be accounted for. It is held before each academic and student life activity to gather all the students quickly and effectively. Formation is also called when we conduct fire drills to practice how to evacuate in the event of an emergency. The time that it takes to gather is timed and we strive for constant improvement.
Formation trains the students and provides them discipline and punctuality. It also serves as an effective safety and security tool, allowing us to check throughout the day and ensure that all students are present. If at any time there is someone missing, we notice immediately, the squad leaders inform the caretakers (Mukhya Jethadars) and then we can go and look for them. Sometimes a student falls asleep in bed and a search is conducted, but it is not very common because the students are highly trained.
Formation also serves an important purpose when we leave campus and when we have to walk through a crowd. There are certain occasions, like the celebration of Guru Ram Das Ji’s birthday when we went to the Golden Temple for a Nagar Kirtan when the crowds are very dense. In those situations students get into walking formation, with boys taking position on the outside and girls on the inside so that the boys can take care of their sisters and ensure that everyone is together. Formation is key for everything!
Miri Piri Academy is like a sanctuary, and we are most happy to have it as our home. It is a place where we can all focus on our personal growth and development in safety and peace.