Children and Young People as Partners for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

The number and magnitude of disasters are increasing. The reality of this situation clearly emphasizes the need to promote actions for risk reduction which c...

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Comment by Vishal Pathak on October 12, 2011 at 9:57
The following points come up again and again during a dialogue with youth on October 11, 2011, Ahmedabad, India.
1. Many youth have no idea of what disasters are like. Where are museums of humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction for them to visit? Youth want to go beyond the theory of DRR, and see DRR as a separate subject and far from poverty reduction.
2. Youth are curious on how to rapidly build culture of trust and collaboration in humanitarian action. Who trusts whom and why? And what factors add to this process?
3. Youth also want to know not only what India is doing at home in
reducing disaster risk but also India's global engagements in humanitarian action. Global trends are becoming important to
youth.
4. Youth are keen to know what are economic consequences of disasters on India's economy that is growing at 8% GDP as well as on
individual common man's life.
5. Again and again youth are amazed at the dignity of victims of disasters when relief is delays and recovery hardly ever takes place faster than the onset of poverty. According to the youth, major and most important learning are coming from the field, with the community.
6. Rain water harvesting as a measure against floods and droughts is firmly engraved in the minds of youth. Such measures are ecosystem based and with low carbon footprint.
7. Youth are keen for youth-to-youth exchange between disaster victim youth and other youths in India. Such exchanges build youth together and have shared reality of a disaster.
8. Youth are curious about humanitarian action beyond aid and charity. Is it possible? What role markets can play? Big national cooperators? Global business networks?
It is our younger generation who will find solutions to the risks that have been created over the past two centuries. But for this to happen we must invest our trust, ideas and resources in our youth.
The above eight points came up in discussion with youth on disaster
risk reduction as a part of 2011 International Day for Disaster
Reduction, organised by All India Disaster Mitigation Institute.

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