Shimla : Child Centric Disaster Risk Reduction (CCDRR) Centre, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the “One Day State Level Policy Café on Integration of Health, Nutrition, WASH in Disasters and Emergencies” in collaboration with State Disaster Management Authority, Himachal Pradesh (HPSDMA) and Bal Raksha Bharat (Also known as Save the Children) at the State Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute (SAMETI), Shimla.
The one-day state level policy café was conducted under the patronage of Shri. Rajendra Ratnoo (IAS), Executive Director, NIDM and Shri. Sudarshan Suchi, CEO, Bal Raksha Bharat and the guidance and supervision of Prof. Santosh Kumar, Senior Advisor & Project Director, CCDRR, NIDM. The programme was convened by Dr. Kumar Raka, Sr. Programme Officer, CCDRR, NIDM and Sh. Mintu Debnath – Head Programme Implementation Unit and Humanitarian, Bal Raksha Bharat and coordinated by Sh. Ranjan Kumar, Consultant, CCDRR, Sh. Nitin Sharna, Training Coordinator, HPSDMA and Sh. Naveen Shukla, Assistant Manager – Project, Bal Raksha Bharat.
More than 65 officials from different line departments- Women & Child Development (WCD), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Civil Defence, Education, Health, State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) along with Aapda Mitras and civil society volunteers are the key participants of this training programme.
The event featured esteemed speakers during the inaugural session. After the welcome address by Sh. Mintu Debnath (Bal Raksha Bharat), Dr. Kumar Raka (CCDRR, NIDM) set the context for the consultation providing valuable perspective on the different vulnerabilities and risk children face in disasters and emergencies and the need for integrating health, nutrition and WASH in Disasters and Emergencies. Prof. Santhosh Kumar highlighted the need of the workshop and the importance of health, nutrition and WASH in Disasters and Emergencies .Mr. Sudarshan Suchi (Bal Raksha Bharat) gave the inaugural address which focused on taking a collaborative approach towards disasters and emergencies. This was followed by the session on “Understanding the current landscape on Health, Nutrition, WASH for children in Disasters and Emergencies. The participants included Dr. Sanjay Rawat, State Programme Manager – Child Health, Dept. of Health, Himachal Pradesh; Smt. Seema Thakur, Dept. of Women and Child Development, Himachal Pradesh; Shri. D.C. Rana, Director cum Special Secretary, HPSDMA and Sh. Satnam Singh, Deputy Director – Child Welfare, Dept. of Women and Child Development, Himachal Pradesh. The common theme of the addresses were structural integrity and safety of the different infrastructures such as Anganwadi Centres, Schools, Hospitals, etc., training of manpower, provision of adequate nutrition and heath services during emergencies and disasters, provision of mental health services, stop trafficking during disasters, lack of safe houses, child welfare, preparedness of different departments, development/revision of the different standard operating procedures (SOPs), need for coordination between different departments, awareness building at ground level, preparing joint disaster management plan, sharing of resources and proper used of technology and ICT for prevention of disasters.
This was followed by a panel discussion which was moderated by Sh. Mintu Debnath, Bal Raksha Bharat and chaired by Shri. D.C. Rana, Director cum Special Secretary, HPSDMA. The panel consisted Dr. Sanjay Rawat, State Programme Manager – Child Health, Dept. of Health, Himachal Pradesh; Smt. Seema Thakur, Dept. of Women and Child Development, Himachal Pradesh; Sh. Narendra Kumar, Deputy Director – Elementary Education, Dept. of Education, Himachal Pradesh; Dr. Kumar Raka, Sr. Programme Officer, CCDRR, NIDM; Dr. Tanvi Chauhan, Manager – Health and Nutrition, Bal Raksha Bharat; Mr. Ravindra Thakur, Joint Director – Food Supply, Dept. of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, Himachal Pradesh. Panel focused on the need for capacity strengthening of different stakeholders across different departments and levels, need for Structural safety in Schools, Hospitals, etc., inclusion and highlighting of disaster management in School Curriculum, need of research to identify the gaps especially at the district level, sensitization of the community on emergency and disasters and to work collaboratively with Civil Society Organization. NIDM has a created a group of 200+ universities and working with the universities to develop curriculum at the higher education level. NIDM has assured that they would train master trainers at state level on working during disaster and emergencies. The panel also focused on the need to focus on Socio-Emotional Learning.
Shri. D.C. Rana, Director cum Special Secretary, HPSDMA stated the departments could develop training modules pertaining to disasters and emergencies and they would fund the printing of the modules and training of the master trainers. He also requested the Dept. of Women and Child Development and Dept. of Child Welfare to assess the Anganwadi Centres and Child Care Institutes who could be retrofitted with disaster safe infrastructure. Further, 18,000 schools in Himachal Pradesh have prepared School Disaster Management Plan and have been uploaded in School Safety App. He had requested the Dept. of Education to train master trainers and subsequently, the school teachers. He emphasized on the need of a champion in each department to take things forward.
This was followed valedictory session where the participants were facilitated with mementos and certificates. As part of the programme, Sh. Ranjan Kumar (CCDRR) delivered the official vote of thanks, expressing gratitude to all dignitaries, participants and collaborators for their commitment and contributions to the success of this Policy Café.