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REPORT

Samarth 2011 Mass Awareness Campaign for Disaster Risk Reduction

On the occasion of

International Day for Disaster Reduction 2011

Children and Young People are partners in Disaster Risk Reduction!

Government of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (HPSDMA)


“Let us all invest today for a safer tomorrow” Ban Ki-moon Secretary General, UN


Preface Due to adverse Geo-physical and climatic conditions, Himachal Pradesh is exposed to various concrete realities. Frequent natural disasters of various intensities and their impacts on the people and land are the gravest among such problems, which hamper the development of the state. Earthquakes, landslides, cloudbursts, flash floods, avalanches, forest fires, droughts etc. have caused tremendous loss to the state. Besides loss of life, these disasters also strain the state exchequer. To safeguard the people of Himachal Pradesh from the ever growing risk of disasters, it is very crucial that development should be envisaged with a holistic approach designed to manage disasters on a more proactive basis. To do this, capacity building initiatives are needed to be taken to make communities self-reliant to cope-up with disasters. Considering this fact, the Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (HP SDMA) launched a Mass Awareness Campaign titled as 'Samarth- 2011' which also marked the celebrations of International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction 2011 (IDDR 2011). 'Samarth' is a Hindi word which refers to the ability of someone to do something. By launching this programme, the HP SDMA aimed at making the people of the state more aware and prepared to reduce the underlying risks of disasters. 'Samarth- 2011' started on 8th of October 2011 (6th anniversary of the Kashmir Earthquake) and came to a fruitful conclusion on 13th of October, 2011. Different awareness generation and capacity building programmes were organized at state as well as district level with involvement of stakeholders like DDMAs of respective districts, Department of Education, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Himachal Fire Services, Department of Civil Defence, Municipal Corporation, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, HP University, etc.

The Secretariat of United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) commemorates the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) every year on 13th of October. The focus of IDDR 2011 was on Children and Young People and the celebrations of the day echoed by a suitable slogan “Step Up for Disaster Risk Reduction”. The specific objectives of the IDDR 2011 were: « To let the world know that children and young people are partners in reducing disaster risk « To promote more partnerships with children and young people in disaster risk reduction « To connect and build bridges and understanding among children and young people


Samarth 2011: State-level events Through ‘Samarth 2011’, the people and the government of Himachal Pradesh extended solidarity with the global community and observed the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR 2011) through a number of thematic events. The Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (HP SDMA) and the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) of district Shimla jointly organized a number of events at the state-level. Flagging off of Citizen’s Solidarity March by Hon’ble CM, Himachal Pradesh The state-level events started in the morning of 13th of October, 2011 when the hon’ble Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal flagged off the Citizen’s Solidarity March from his official residence. Hundreds of students and teachers of various schools of the capital, Scouts of National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Services Scheme (NSS), volunteers of Civil Defence and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and a number of concerned citizens took part in this solidarity March. As a symbol of cooperation and solidarity, soldiers of Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) and Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB) also participated in this march and encouraged the participating children and youth with their presence. Deputy Commissioner of district Shimla Mr. Onkar Chand Sharma, Advisor-cum-Consultant to the HP SDMA, Dr. R. K. Sood, ADM (Protocol) , Shimla Mr. Man Singh Verma and the State Project Officer GoI-UNDP DRR Programme Mr. D. C. Rana were among the dignitaries present during the flag-off of the Citizen’s Solidarity March. Launch of the website of HPSDMA by Hon’ble Chief Minister As another remarkable milestone i n t h e h i sto r y o f D i s a ste r Management related affairs in the state, the official website of the HP SDMA was launched by the hon’ble Chief Minister. The website i.e. www.hpsdma.nic.in is a source of comprehensive information over disaster-related subjects and contains vital pieces of information about the overview of national as well as state and districtlevel disaster management set-up, hazard profile of the state, IEC materials etc.


Snapshots: Citizen’s Solidarity March


Samarth 2011: State-level events The Citizen’s Solidarity March which was flagged off by the hon’ble Chief Minister of the Himachal Pradesh reached its destination at the famous Ridge Ground where a team of skilled professionals and servicemen of Himachal Pradesh Fire Services were ready to demonstrate a variety of Emergency Rescue & Relief Operations through mock drills based on realistic situations. Hundreds of participants from diverse occupational backgrounds watched the Firemen perform some incredible mock drills and learnt the ways to reduce the impact of disasters. Mock Drills on Emergency Rescue & Relief Operations As the main event of the IDDR 2011 celebrations, the Mock Drills organized jointly by the Civil Defense, Fire Services and Home Guards were applauded by everyone present. These mock drills were so attractive that they even grabbed the attention of the tourists and people who were just passing by. The Chief Guest on this occasion was the Divisional Commissioner of Shimla, Mr. Kashmir Chand who watched all mock drills with great interest. The Deputy Commissioner, Shimla Mr. Onkar Chand Sharma, The Director of Shimla Centre of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) Dr. Manmohan Singh and the State Project Officer, GoI-UNDP DRR Programme, Mr. D C Rana were among the other dignitaries present for this event. Students of 15 Government-run as well as private schools of district Shimla watched these mock drills with enthusiasm. First Round of mock drills was focused on extinguishing different kind of fires with the help of different types of fire-extinguishers. In what turned out to be a learning opportunity for everyone present, the Firemen demonstrated the use of different types of fire extinguishers for different classes of fires. The firemen endorsed how ready they are for major fire accidents. After this, the Deptt. of Civil Defense and HP Home Guards jointly demonstrated the ways of carrying out different Rescue and Relief operations in real-life environments during emergencies.


Snapshots: Mock Drills on Rescue & Relief


Samarth 2011: State-level events After the splendid demonstration of Emergency Rescue & Relief Mock Drills by the HP Fire Services Department, Civil Defense and HP Home Guards, the guests and all participants moved to watch the ‘Exhibition on Disaster Management Equipments’ hosted by the City Disaster Management Cell of the Municipal Corporation, Shimla. Exhibition on Disaster Management Equipments After the mock-drills, exhibition on Disaster Management Equipments was another crowdpuller where people learnt about various tools and equipments which are very crucial for emergency response. The Divisional Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner visited the exhibition and watched the items displayed by various companies and departments. The officer at the exhibition stall of HP Fire Services briefed about various fire safety equipments and the ways to operate them during emergency situations. The Divisional Commissioner enquired about the effectiveness of Smoke Detector and some other fire safety equipments. The next stall was placed by a private company ‘Aska’ which deals in emergency response related equipments. A motorbike by ‘Aska’ with attached fire extinguishers (cylinders) and some other useful fire-safety features was the main attraction of this stall. The Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Mr. Onkar Chand Sharma said that this motorbike would be of immense potential for fire fighting in cities like Shimla, especially in the inaccessible areas where we have narrow roads / paths. Fire-proof apparel and few other fire-safety equipments were also displayed by ‘Aska’. The stalls set-up by Shimla Centre of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), various models of weather forecasting systems were displayed. According to the Director of the Shimla Centre of IMD Dr. Manmohan Singh, these forecasting systems play a crucial role in early warning and thus, help in reducing the risk of natural disasters. All dignitaries who visited the exhibition lauded the efforts of the DM Cell of the Municipal Corporation, Shimla for organizing the exhibition.


Snapshots: Exhibition on DM Equipments


Samarth 2011: State-level events As the state-level events of Samarth 2011 came to an end on 13th of October, 2011, a Concluding Ceremony was organized by the HP SDMA and DDMA, Shimla at the Gaiety Theater, Shimla. The Deputy Commissioner, Shimla welcomed the guests and all participants and presented an overview of the events organized during the Samarth 2011. The Chief Guest of the Closing Ceremony was Shri Kashmir Chand, Divisional Commissioner, Shimla who delivered the valedictory address at the end of the programme. Samarth 2011: Closing Ceremony & Valedictory Address The Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Mr. Onkar Chand Sharma formally inaugurated the final event of Samarth 2011 at the famous Gaiety Theater. Mr. Sharma elucidated how different events were organized in Shimla and other districts to build the capacities of the students, teachers and other stakeholders in the DRR process. To give a summary of disaster-related facts about Himachal Pradesh, a brief presentation on the hazards and vulnerability in the state was delivered by the Advisor-cumConsultant to the HP SDMA, Dr. R. K. Sood. In an interesting presentation, Dr. Sood revealed different types of hazards which Himachal Pradesh is susceptible to and which people of the state need to get prepared for. After an informative presentation by Dr. Sood, the Divisional Commissioner, Shimla Mr. Kashmir Chand presented the valedictory address and officially proclaimed the conclusion of the ‘Samarth 2011’. In his address, Mr. Kashmir Chand extended thanks to the DC Shimla Mr. Onkar Chand Sharma and the State Project Officer Mr. D C Rana and said the professionals of HP SDMA, DDMA Shimla, Municipal Corporation, Shimla and all concerned agencies deserve praises for all the hard work they have done to organize ‘Samarth 2011’ s u c c e s s f u l l y. A f t e r t h e Valedictory Address, Mr. Kashmir Chand presented the awards to the winners of different school-level events organized under the ‘Samarth 2011’ on 10th of October.


Snapshots: Closing Ceremony


Samarth 2011: District-level events on IDDR 2011 This was the first time in the history of Himachal Pradesh when all districts of the state organized different events in connection with the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR). These events witnessed an unprecedented participation of different stakeholders belonging to diverse backgrounds. While some events were based on promoting awareness about school safety, other events were focused on building the capacities of health workers, media professionals and volunteers over disaster-related issues. Brief accounts of the events and/or activities organized by the District Disaster Management Authorities and concerned departments of respective districts is given below. District- CHAMBA

Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction On the occasion of International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR 2011), a Capacity Building workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction was organized by the district administration for the employees of DC Office and officers of different departments of district Chamba. In this workshop, participants learnt about the ways to reduce the risk of disasters through better preparedness and following good practices that help in mitigating the disasters. As a larger area of the district Chamba falls in Siesmic Zone-V, special thrust was given on the "Do"s and "Don't Do"s to be followed before, during and after an earthquake. District- HAMIRPUR

Workshop on the Role of Health Workers in Disaster Management The Civil Hospital, Nadaun organized a Workshop on the Role of Health Workers in Disaster Management on 13th of October, 2011 in which staff nurses and other hospital staff were oriented on providing and resuming and medical services in Disasters. The resource person for the workshop Dr. Praveen Chaudhary informed the participants about the safety and health care of patients and their safe evacuation in a disaster situation. The participants also learnt the tips and techniques about maintaining hygiene and sanitation in order to avoid spread of water and air-borne diseases.

Workshop on Role of Media in Disaster Management On the occasion of IDDR 2011, the DDMA Hamirpur organized a 'Workshop on Role of Media in Disaster Management' at Hamir Bhawan. Deputy Commissioner of district Hamirpur Mr. Rajinder Singh presided over the workshop. Journalists from different newspapers participated in the workshop and learnt about crucial aspects of covering the disasters or emergency situations. On this occasion, Mr. Singh emphasized the role of media in the dissemination of critical information which helps people to prepare for disasters.


Samarth 2011: District-level events on IDDR 2011 District- KULLU

A two-day Workshop on Disaster Management The District Disaster Management Authority, Kullu organized a two-day workshop (13th to 14th of October, 2011) on Disaster Management for the officers of different government departments and non-governmental organizations. On this occasion, the Deputy Commissioner Mr. B. M. Nanta told the participants that district Kullu is very sensitive to the risk of earthquakes, landslides and floods. District Disaster Management Plan has been made to tackle these natural disasters to ensure effective prevention, preparedness and response. The Deputy Commandant of NDRF's 7th Command Mr. Nityanand briefed about the role of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in dealing with disasters. Mr. Nityanand said that the teams of NDRF are well-equipped with all modern equipments to provide quick and effective response at the time of disasters.

Disaster Safety Mock Drill Exercise A Disaster Safety Mock Drill Exercise was conducted at the Mini Secretariat, Kullu on 15th of October, 2011. The focus of the mock drill was to demonstrate quick response actions that are taken during the natural disasters like earthquakes and floods. A team from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Bathinda, Administrative Departments, Police, Home Guards, Fire Services Officers, Traders and General Public participated in this mock exercise. On this occasion, Brigadier Khanna told the participants that NDRF is conducting mock drills at many places across the country. According to the Nodal Officer of District Disaster Management Authority, Kullu and the Additional District Magistrate Mr. R. K. Paruthi, this mock drill helped in developing new skills in the participants and officials of various departments. District- MANDI

Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction District Disaster Management Authority, Mandi and the district unit of National Services Scheme (NSS) organized a Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction at Vallabh Bhai Patel Govt. Degree College, Mandi. Around 300 students of the college participated in this workshop and learnt basic tips on disaster preparedness, mitigation and response. The resource persons for this workshop were Prof. Hemraj Rana, Prof. Radhika Jamwal and Prof. Smriti Thakur who gave an overview of Disaster Management Cycle, Role of Communities in Disaster Preparedness and Response. President of NGO 'Saksharta evam Jan Vikas Samiti' Mr. Rajendra Mohan presented a brief account of the Disaster Management scenario in India and Himachal Pradesh and also explained about the DM framework at district level.


Samarth 2011: District-level events on IDDR 2011 District- SHIMLA

Workshop on the Role of Volunteers in Disaster Management The District Disaster Management Authority, Shimla and the district unit of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) organized a one-day workshop on the role of volunteers in Disaster Management at the Bhachat Bhawan, Shimla. More than 200 youths from different parts of district Shimla participated in this workshop and learnt about the fundamental aspects of Volunteering for Disaster Risk Reduction. During the workshop, UN Volunteer and Capacity Building Associate (GoI-UNDP DRR Programme) Mr. Navneet Yadav shared his experiences of working in disaster-hit Kashmir region. The youths learnt about the different ways how dedicated and sincere volunteers can help the communities and local administration in minimizing the losses during an emergency situations.

School-centric Events and Competitions on Disaster Risk Reduction The DDMA Shimla, Department of Education and the DM Cell of Municipal Corporation, Shimla jointly organized thematic events and competitions for the students of different schools from district Shimla. A Quiz on Disasters, Poster Making Competition, Photography Competition and Skits Competition on Disaster Preparedness were organized at Govt. Girls Senior Secondary School, Portmore, Shimla on 10th of October, 2011. The quiz was prepared by the DM Cell of Revenue Department, H.P. Govt. while the Nodal Officer, DM at the Directorate of Higher Education Dr. Santosh Banyal coordinated the events. The winners of these events received prizes on the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR 2011).

Capacity Building Workshop for Teachers and Students District Disaster Management Authority, Shimla organized a one-day Capacity Building Workshop for the teachers and students of different schools of district Shimla on 12th of October, 2011. On this occasion, the Additional District Magistrate (Protocol), Shimla Mr. Man Singh Verma gave an overview of the initiatives taken by the DDMA, Shimla towards reducing the underlying risks of disasters in the district. The resource person for this workshop was the State Project Officer, GoI-UNDP DRR Programme, Mr. D. C. Rana who delivered an informative and interesting presentation on school safety and the role of teachers and students in disaster preparedness at school-level. Mr. Rana cited the examples of Gujarat and Kashmir Earthquakes and urged the teachers to learn from the lessons of these devastating calamities. Mr. Rana also presented a detailed account of disaster-related vulnerability of the people of Himachal Pradesh and shared some facts about the seismic profile of the state and the capital city Shimla. Mr. Rana stated that it is in the interest of the people to build earthquake-safe buildings as the state lies on high-risk seismic zones IV and V.


Samarth 2011: District-level events on IDDR 2011 District- SHIMLA

Mock Drills on Hospital and School Safety From 8th of October to 13th of October, 2011, a number of Mock Drills were organized by the Department of Civil Defence, H.P. Home Guards and H.P. Fire Services in different schools and hospitals of district Shimla. The major mock drills were organized at the Rippon Hospital and the Ridge Ground on 10th of October, 2011. The DDMA Shimla, the Department of Education and Department of Health and Family Welfare jointly coordinated these mock drills at different schools and hospitals of district Shimla.

Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction The Institute of Integrated Himalayan Studies (IIHS) of Himachal Pradehs University (HPU) organized a conference on the occasion of International Day for Disaster Reduction 2011. Prof. Eric Cohen of Hebrew University of Israel was the chief guest of this conference and the Head of Department, Journalism and Mass Communication department of Vallabh Bhai Patel Govt. Degree College Prof. Chaman Premi was the resource person in this conference. On this occasion, many scholars of the Himachal Pradesh University presented their Research Papers on Disaster-related topics. The D.S. of the HPU Prof. H.S. Banyal said that in a state like Himachal Pradesh which is vulnerable to a number of natural disasters, it is very important to create mass awareness on disaster preparedness. Cadets of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and the volunteers of National Services Scheme (NSS) participated in this conference. Assistant Professor at Ghumarvin College, Ms. Rajkumari presented a paper on ‘Psychological effects on the people affected in disasters'. District- SOLAN

Workshop on 'Role of Volunteers in Disaster Risk Reduction' District Administration and Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangthan (NYKS) jointly organized a One-day workshop on 'Role of Volunteers in Disaster Risk Reduction' at Sanskrit College, Solan on 13th of October, 2011. The objective of the workshop was to create disaster-related awareness among youth volunteers and to orient the volunteers over the skills pertaining to effective response at the time of disasters. District Coordinator of NYKS, Ms. Era Prabhat encouraged the youths to enhance their skills over disaster management. Explaining how citizens can reduce the risks of disasters through better preparedness, the Company Commander of Home Guards Department Mr. Sohan Lal elucidated the ways how communities can protect themselves from Disasters. Former Principal of District Institute of Education & Training (DIET), Solan Mr. Harsh Joshi emphasized the role of Volunteers in Disaster Management.


Samarth 2011: District-level events on IDDR 2011 District- SOLAN

Workshop on 'Role of Media in Emergency Situations’ District Administration, Solan and Department of Information and Public Relations jointly organized a workshop on the 'Role of Volunteers in Disaster Risk Reduction'. Speaking on this occasion, the Sub-Divisional Megistrate, Solan Capt. Raman Sharma endorsed the growing significance of Media in disaster risk reduction. Capt. Sharma said that as disaster management is a subject of national interests, media personnel shall realize their ethical responsibility to help the administration in promoting awareness about disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation. He stated that print and electronic media must coordinate with district administration for the dissemination of correct and reliable information espcially at the time of disasters or major accidents, terrorist attacks and communal riots.

Mock Drill on 'Earthquake and Fire Safety' District Administration, Solan organized a Mock Drill on 'Earthquake and Fire Safety' at Govt. Senior Secondary School, Solan. As a collaborative exercise done by the district administration and the department of Home Guards, NCC and Health Department, this Mock Drill gave realistic lessons to students on ensuring maximum safety at the time of an earthquake or a major fire accident. During the Mock Drill, the AC Solan Mr. Rajesh Kumar informed the teachers and students that preparedness is the best way to prevent disasters. District- SIRMAUR

A one-day Workshop on Disaster Management A workshop on Disaster Management was organized by the District Disaster Management Authority, Sirmaur at the DC office on 13th of October, 2011. Speaking on this occasion, the District Revenue Officer, Sirmaur Ms. Jyoti Rana advised all concerned departments to initiate capacity building measures for their staff to make them prepared for disasters. Ms. Rana laid thrust on proper and effective coordination among the departments to ensure quick response during any emergency situation. Ms. Rana stated that it is vital to know that basic facilities like first aid and drinking water can be of immense help at the time of disasters.

School-centric events on Disaster Risk Reduction Thematic Quiz, Slogan Writing Competition and Poster Making Competition was organized in different schools of district Sirmaur by the DDMA in collaboration with the Education Department. A rally for spreading the message of disaster preparedness was also organized by district administration and over 200 students from different schools participated in this rally.


Samarth 2011: District-level events on IDDR 2011 District- UNA

Workshop on 'Role of Media in Emergency Situations’ District Disaster Management Authority, Una organized a one-day Workshop on 'Role of Media in Disaster Management' on the occasion of International Day for Disaster Reduction 2011. The main objective of the workshop was to enhance the capacities of Media professionals over the coverage of crucial aspects of disasters before, during and after the occurence. Highlighting the role of Media in issuing early warning and dissemination of significant information, the Deputy Commissioner, Una Mr. K.R. Bharati endorsed that media professionals must have sound knowledge of the local area and the potential hazards in that area. Mr. Bharati emphasized upon the need of better communication and coordination among the district administration, media and civil society organizations for effective response at the time of a disaster.


Snapshots: District-level events in Samarth 2011


Samarth 2011: Media Coverage


Samarth 2011: Media Coverage


Samarth 2011: Media Coverage


Samarth 2011: Media Coverage


Samarth 2011: Media Coverage

Report- Samarth 2011 (IDDR 2011) Himachal Pradesh  

Report- Samarth 2011 (IDDR 2011) Himachal Pradesh