National: In a bid to formulate, strengthen, and reinvigorate conversations focused on protecting children in disaster-driven situations, Child Centric Disaster Risk Reduction Centre (CCDRR), National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India and Bal Raksha Bharat (formerly Save the Children India) announced a partnership to work towards developing a safer, more resilient environment for children. The initiative is geared towards realising the objectives outlined in the Prime Minister’s 10-point Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) agenda. Aspects being worked on under this partnership will include the integration of Child Protection and Child Rights in Disasters & Emergencies (CPiE), Continuity of Education in Disasters and Emergencies (EiE) and Health and Nutrition in Disasters & Emergencies (H&NiE) capacity-building modules into NIDM’s government training programmes via joint webinars and training courses focused on Child-Centric Disaster Risk Reduction.
This collaboration closely aligns with the CCDRR (Child-Centric Disaster Risk Reduction) Centre at Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh and aims to establish a cadre of youth and children equipped to manage disasters and emergencies and build a trained volunteer base of youths as first responders. Additionally, this partnership will provide strategic human resource support to the CCDRR Centre, facilitating the mainstreaming of Child-Centric agendas into national and state policies, ultimately contributing to the broader goal of enhancing disaster resilience and child well-being.
Speaking of the partnership, the National Institute of Disaster Management’s Sr. Advisor and Head of CCDRR Prof. Santosh Kumar opined, “The outcomes NIDM and the Bal Raksha Bharat are looking to achieve include creating a cadre of volunteers who are readily deployable, aware, and prepared, especially in Child Protection in Disasters and Emergencies, during disasters such as what we are witnessing today in Tamil Nadu due to Cyclone Michuang”, to which, Sudarshan Suchi, Chief Executive Officer, Bal Raksha Bharat, added, “Over the century of Save The Children’s global existence, and the last decade and a half in India, Bal Raksha Bharat has focused on work on-ground addressing children’s unique needs, especially in times of crisis. From School Safety audits to youth-based feedback mechanisms to ensuring Sero Day Loss and Sero Death for children in disasters and emergencies, we will work with the NIDM to integrate our capacity-building modules into the government’s training programmes.”
The partnership will bring knowledge dissemination and enhance the capacity of individuals and organisations involved in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The research and publications that will be produced through this collaboration will contribute valuable insights into children’s vulnerability and resilience in the face of disasters and climate change, informing evidence-based policies and practices.
Bal Raksha Bharat currently has 40 projects running in the country on holistic child welfare. Through these programmes, Bal Raksha Bharat has positively impacted the lives of 13,85,900 children, in the last year alone. Starting in 2020, around 2.4 million children have benefited from their thematic programmes, while approximately 1.5 million children have been reached through their humanitarian response efforts.