|File picture of cadets being trained in Bhubaneswar
Bhubaneswar, Aug. 6: Lift your heads from books, youngsters. Get ready to come to the rescue of your neighbours in times of calamities and natural disasters.
The state government will impart training to nearly 20 lakh high school students in the state to face natural disasters such as floods and cyclones. The teenagers are expected to come to the rescue of the administration and community during crisis.
Odisha is vulnerable to natural calamities such as flood, cyclone and heat waves and man-made disasters such as Maoist attacks, accidents and food poisoning.
In the first phase, a disaster preparedness training programme will be taken up under the School Safety programme in a selected 1,000 out of 7,000-odd high schools (Classes VIII to X) across the state. Nearly 20 lakh students in the state are at the high school level.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced the plan for disaster management training after a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority today.
The programme is expected to inculcate a sense of preparedness among students and teachers with an objective to reduce the risk of disasters. These schools, in the process, will be made hubs of preparedness activities for the neighbourhood as well in the time of calamity. Students and teachers will be trained in life saving skills, search and rescue operations and first-aid techniques. Mock drills will be conducted to test the disaster preparedness of the students.
A senior official said that at first, the programme would be taken up at high schools located in the most vulnerable areas of the state.
Disaster management has already been included in the curricula of Classes VIII and X by the Board of Secondary Education, Odisha. The Odisha State Disaster Management Authority has released a reference book on disaster management in both English and Odia for the use of students.
A similar programme was earlier undertaken at the community level under the Disaster Risk Management and Disaster Risk Reduction Programmes sponsored by the central government and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).
Under the School Safety programme, disaster management committees will be set up at the school level. These committees will prepare safety plans for the respective localities. Hazard and vulnerability will be assessed before drawing up the safety plan.
A session of trainers’ will be conducted at the state level. Two teachers from each district will be trained and they will act as the master trainer for district-level training.
The programme will be implemented by the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority in collaboration with the school and mass education department.
Apart from high school children, disaster management training will also be imparted to National Social Service volunteers and National Cadet Corps cadets at the college level.
A multi-discipline disaster management training institute will be set up for the training and capacity building of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and the fire service personnel. The institute will have training facilities in flood rescue boat operations, collapsed structure search and rescue (CSSR) technique, medical first responder, rope rescue, equipment maintenance and relief operations.