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SCHOOL DISASTER MANAGEMENT PLAN

Globally, it is evident as there have been major casualties to innocent school children because of the earthquakes and school building collapses. On Dec 7, 1988 in Armenia thousands of school children killed including 400 at an elementary school in Dzhrashen which collapsed, on May 10, 1997; 110 students killed at Ardakul, Iran in Primary school collapsed. In 1999, the Chi-Chi Earthquake completely destroyed 43 Taiwan schools in the Nantou and Taichung area and a total of 700 schools nationwide were damaged. In the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake the rate of child mortality was substantial with the death of 19,000 students and the total destruction of about 7000 schools.


In recent past, schools in India have also witnessed many disasters. To name a few, in 2001, the Gujarat (Bhuj) Earthquake in India caused severe damage to 11,600 schools; a total of 31 teachers died and 95 were injured; 971 students perished and 1,051 were injured. Formal education was disrupted due to widespread damage to physical infrastructure. A fire at the Lord Krishna School in Kumbakonam, Tamilnadu took the lives of 94 children in 2004; thousands of students and teachers were killed, injured or otherwise affected in the 2004 South Asia Tsunami. Over 400 people —about half of them students—at a school’s prize giving ceremony in Dabwali, Haryana burnt alive in 1995. Keeping in view the fact, various Global and Regional declarations highlighted School Safety programme as one of the most important components of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR).


According to the Seismic Hazard Map of India, a large part of our country identified in Seismic Zone IV which means the area falls under “High Damage Risk Zone” where earthquake of intensity VIII may occur. If any disaster, mainly earthquake and fire occur in day time, it has been noticed that the percentage of children dying are far higher due to unsafe environment and unprepared schools. In recent times, Government has taken aspects of disaster risk reduction in school seriously. Therefore, keeping in view the vulnerability of area and exposure of untrained school children, it becomes imperative to implement School Safety Programme in line with the Government of India guidelines to save invaluable children lives. "I would urge parents associations and resident’s associations to take it upon themselves to inspect the schools in their area and the schools to which they send their children". Force school authorities to comply the norms set by the government. Every school should have School Disaster Management Plan (SDMP) in line with guidelines given by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)