Lady Shri Ram College for Women in collaboration with Disaster Research Program, JNU organized a half day workshop “Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Resilience Building” on 20 January 2016. This was an initiative of sensitizing the youth by involving them in a participatory neighbourhood mapping programme. The participants included O.P. Singh (IPS) Director General, NDRF, Prof. Amita Singh (JNU), Prof. Milap Punia (JNU), Dr. Suneeta Reddy (JNU), Dr. Suman Sharma (Principal LSR and also Core College Coordinator), students and faculty of colleges like Miranda House, Gargi College, Kamala Nehru College, Motilal Nehru College, Surendra Singh Rajput, teacher from Government Boys Secondary School, Nisha Sharma, teacher from Nagar Nigham Prathmik Vidyalaya, neighbourhood schools of LSR, RWA representatives from Garhi village. Faculty members of various departments from LSR and 25 student volunteers of NSS who head different projects also actively participated in the workshop.
LSR has been identified as the nodal college for this programme which aims to work with students and various societies such as NSS, environment clubs to sensitize and make them part of social citizenry. The first session was on ‘Role of Youth in Community Preparedness’. It started with the introductory remarks of Dr. Suman Sharma where she highlighted the importance of disaster management not just in India but also in South Asia. The next speaker, Prof. Amita Singh, explained that the aim of the project would be to help policy makers in mitigating disasters. This was followed by Prof. Milap Punia, who presented BHUVAN (Indian geo-platform by ISRO) as a tool to raise awareness about the vulnerable areas in the neighborhood regions. The session was concluded by Dr. Suneeta Reddy who explained how traditional knowledge and wisdom needs to be tapped and nurtured to build up a culture of preparedness and community resilience.
The second session on ‘Technology, Mapping and Building’ was an interactive discussion between faculty members, stakeholders of Garhi region and students. The interactive discussion was followed by remarks from Mr. O.P. Singh who shared his experiences of working at the NDRF and the challenges that he faced while working on such issues. Mr. Singh also stressed on the role of building community preparedness and highlighted four points in this regard as hazard mapping, vulnerability mapping, resource mapping and importance of disaster response team. In the end, some great suggestions were given by Dr. Prof. Amita Singh and Dr. Suneeta Reddy such as involving NSS at the college level as an active disaster management task force which was followed by a vote of thanks by Dr. Renu Bahl, faculty at LSR.