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Disaster risk reduction Management

Placing heavy demand for reconstruction and rehabilitation, disaster always destroys the decades of human efforts and investment towards development. One of the most vulnerable sections to be hit by these disasters are children unskilled and unaware of fact what to do in such conditions. There are ample examples like Gujarat Earthquake 2001 where 971 children lost its lives, fire incident at DAV School in Dabwali, Sirsa, Haryana in 1995 during an annual function took the lives of 540 people 170 of them were schoolchildren. Similarly, the incident happened in Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu at in 2004 which took 93 lives which is enough to ascertain the fact that it is utmost importance that every school must have a sound Emergency Response Mechanism in place in order to deal effectively with the natural and human induced disasters (such as earthquake, fire, stampede, terror attack and gas leak etc.

It is, however, also observed that emphasizing in isolation on the concerned sector in terms of training of Task forces, capacity building of school disaster management team, school Disaster Management plan development and mock-drill would may not lead to the mainstreaming of disaster management in the education sector. A strategic intervention in terms of considering various areas may be developed from inserting DRR in school curriculum through the Department of Pedagogy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, hazard resistant schools construction as indicated in the School Development plan of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, through the public work department. Issues related to basic health, sanitation and hygiene to be maintained in the school in general for all students and during implementation of the midday meal program in view of increasing disaster, climatic and man-made risks. It is, thus, prerequisite for the programs to involve different stakeholders if “home - to- home” safety of school children is to be ensured considering all-natural hazards and man-made risks.

In general school safety is defined as schools and school-related activities where students are safe from violence, bullying, harassment, and substance use. Safe schools promotes the protection of students from violence, exposure to weapons and threats, theft, bullying, and the sale or use of illegal substances on school grounds But, school safety in disaster Management defined as reduction of overall risk of student in school from natural and manmade disaster. Home to home school safety means Disaster Risk Reduction from home from where students start to schools – in school and while returning from school to home. Idea is to make students able to understand the risk on the way and in school and learn the basics how to react in case of any emergency strike on the way to school and in the school.