Thiruvananthapuram: Children from flood-affected areas have inspired the city corporation to think of a project to equip school students to face disasters. It is one of the proposals made by the youngest participants of Green Congress, the city -based network of individuals and organisations, in the first week of December.
Their suggestions were put together as a document and submitted to Health Minister K.K. Shailaja for the government to study and implement them. The document shows children’s interest in playing their part in the rebuilding process. They want to form their own disaster management and mitigation team and children’s panchayat, be student reporters and part of flood-mapping. Green Army will follow up these suggestions with the state government.
Meanwhile, in Thiruvananthapuram, the disaster management working group of the town planning standing committee has come up with a proposal in which children will be taught the basics of dealing with a disaster. The working group’s vice-chairperson Palayam Rajan says, “according to our proposal, children will be trained in everything that equips school students to respond to disasters and emergencies. There will be mock drills in all schools within the corporation limits. Moreover, children will be trained in administering first aid for road accident victims. If the project gets approved, it will be implemented in the next academic year in all schools, including private schools,” according to him.
According to Green Army mentor Dr Ashin Mohan, the children even proposed that disaster management should be part of their syllabus so that they can be prepared always. From the government they expect a quick and reliable system like an app to pass on information about disasters. They also want an alternative communication system which will work even when conventional networks don’t.
Their document proposes a children’s panchayat, where children can suggest ideas which grown-ups “might never think of.” One such idea is having helipads on top of buildings which are isolated.
They offer many insights which will help in the rebuilding process. In the document, children from Kuttanad talk about education hitting a full stop even after the rains, as “Kuttanad is like a plate.” Children from Idukki and Wynad spoke of isolation which many areas in high ranges experienced. Those from Pathanamthitta say they had nothing to eat during floods and later saw food getting wasted as the supply was more than necessary....