The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for Disaster Reduction is being observed to raise awareness about disaster risk reduction. It also encourages people and governments to participate in building more resilient communities and nations. NDMA and NIDM will be observing the Day jointly for Disaster Reduction on 10th October 2012. This day offers an opportunity to focus national attention on this important issue and to create awareness about disasters and their management.
Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005–2015, under its one of the priority area named “Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters” is trying to build a culture of safety and resilience at all levels. For making a community resilient to disaster HFA recognizes vital role for schools. Damage to educational institutions disrupts the education system and eventually the development of any country. Among all, the children in schools are the most vulnerable groups to disasters. Exposure to various hazards, inadequacies in the structure and lack of preparedness measures can have disastrous consequence in the event of a disaster. It is believed that during the 2001 Gujarat earthquake, 971 students and 31 teachers had died and 1884 school buildings collapsed.
Similar other events like the Kumbakonam fire tragedy and disaster in Dabwali (Haryana) etc. make it imperative to integrate both structural and non-structural interventions to reduce vulnerability. To reduce vulnerability of schools to disasters, it is important to develop a School Safety Plan, incorporating both structural and non-structural measures and implement it properly.
To observe the Disaster Reduction Day, NIDM invited proposals from schools to develop their own “School Safety Plans,” with an objective to create awareness among students, teachers and other stakeholders about school safety. Out of the received plans from schools, 20 selected plans across the country will be awarded Rs. 25,000 to each as prize along with certificates.
The concluding programme to distribute the prizes to the winners is being organized on 10th October, 2012, from 1430 to 1700 hrs at Auditorium, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi-110003.
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