Dipecho4 newsletter3rd oct08


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Dipecho4 newsletter3rd oct08

  1. 1. October 2008 Issue - III DIPECHO Newsletter Capacity building of disaster risk reduction actors in mainstreaming disability issues in India Introduction Towards an inclusive, barrier- free and rights-based world. Persons with disabilities (PWDs) are among the most vulnerable of the vulnerable groups in society. Disasters affect vulnerable groups more severely than the rest of the population, and PWDs are especially at risk. Since persons with disabilities have special abilities and specific needs, therefore disability inclusive disaster risk reduction (DRR) considers how the needs of PWDs can be addressed and how they can contribute to DRR HI-DIPECHO and disaster management. Understanding about disability and how PWD can be included regional lessons in DRR is therefore an important part of disaster planning and management. learnt and good practices workshop on disability inclusive disaster Refresher Training risk reduction will take place in A two days refresher training on Kathmandu, Nepal “Mainstreaming disability issues on the 15th & 16th in DRR” was organised on the 25th & 26th September 2008 in January 2009 New Delhi for the participants who had attended the trainings in Delhi and Orissa including the one organized by Orissa State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA). The main purpose of the training was to review the previous training and the actions taken on the plans they drew out as part of Inside this issue: the training. The training also focused on identifying the areas of Core Committee WKSP 2 support voiced by participants on the basis of their field based A brainstorming session in progress during the training experiences. From the Field 2 The participants reviewed their plans and identified the shortcomings and key issues Press Trip 4 wherein they required support and inputs from Handicap International. After reviewing the plans, all the participants briefly presented about their achievements vis-à-vis plans and Field Visits 4 worked on the modifications in their existing plans . DIPECHO Coordination 4 Based on the identified needs/key issues, the facilitator provided inputs to the participants for better understanding on the issue. The participants also identified and listed out the Team Update 5 key communications messages that should be developed for reaching out to the target audience. Case Studies 5
  2. 2. Page 2 Issue - III Second Core Committee Workshop One of the important activities envisaged under the project is the formation and the functioning of the Core Committee [CC] of stakeholders from both disability and DRR sectors. The first Core Committee workshop provided a forum to share experiences, lessons learning, resource materials and expectations on both DRR and disability issues. The initial task was to join forces on the formulation of a training manual for training within the project and for wider use. In continuation, the second Core Committee workshop was held in New Delhi on the 1st October 2008. Mr. Debnarayan Bej spelt out the objective of the workshop and said that the workshop aimed at acquiring valuable inputs and feedback from the participants on the draft training manual - “how to mainstream disability issues in disaster risk reduction”. He added that the inputs of the participants Core Committee members providing inputs to the manual would contribute to make a very simple, practical and useful training manual for the Trainers and Managers working in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction. A total of 14 members participated in the workshop and provided valuable inputs on the training manual. Subsequent to the day long deliberations, Handicap International has compiled the inputs received from the participants and is in the process of incorporating them into the manual. From the Field Observation of National Disaster Management Day: The National Disaster Management Day was observed in three locations in West Bengal and Orissa to sensitize the community about the importance of inclusive disaster preparedness and support the PWDs to enhance their mobility and communication. The community gathered in Mahisamari on 29th “Handicap October 2008, Lakshmipur on 31st October 2008 and Banki on 29th October 2008 for a International has community function in which 33 PWDs (in Mahisamari and Lakshmipur) and 13 PWDs in Banki launched a website were supplied with aids and appliances like crutches, white canes, wheel chairs and tricycles. (www.disabilityindrr.org) on disability inclusive Subsequent to the distribution, it has been seen that there is enhanced confidence among the DRR on the occasion PWDs and their mobility and communication has increased. Consequently, the participation of of World Disability PWDs in DRR activities has also increased. RKM and Sambandh organised the functions which received support from Handicap International. The PWDs are also being oriented about use Day on 3rd December and care of aids and appliances. 2008” Disability Assessment Camps: The disability assessment camps were organised in Andaman and Nicobar Islands from 8th—12th September 2008 at Billliground, Rangat, Kadamtala, Adazig, Nimbutala and Sippighat. The assessment camps were conducted with the following objectives: • Assess the needs of PWDs in the project area to provide assistive devices. • Provide basic therapy and counselling for PWDs, including primary rehabilitation services (e.g. simple instructions of exercises, handling for parents/ caretakers, etc) and information regarding referral services, disability schemes, etc. • Provide referral services to PWDs to various institutions as per their requirements or will be informed regarding available service providers in the areas. A total of 282 persons with disabilities were assessed and 78 PWDs were identified for supply of assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, hearing aid, etc. CARE India provided field support for organising the camps and mobilising the persons with disabilities to attend the camps through their community volunteers.
  3. 3. Page 3 Issue - III Inclusion of persons with disabilities in task forces: Handicap International supported its co-implementing partners in Andaman and Nicobar Islands (CARE), Orissa (SAMBANDH) and West Bengal (RKM) for inclusion of PWDs into the various task forces. The PWDs have been identified on the basis of the interest indicated by them. 11 PWDs in Neil Island, Havelock and Rangat (in Andaman) have been trained on Search & Rescue and First Aid during the reporting period. The PWDs and their family members were informed about the various techniques of first aid and search & rescue, which will help them to minimize the impact of disaster. Orientation workshops have been organised with the task force members to sensitize on the specific needs and abilities of PWDs. So far, 57 PWDs have been included in various task forces formed by the co-implanting partners in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Orissa and West Bengal. A person with disability is a part of early warning team Inclusion of disability issues in Village Contingency Plans: Village Contingency Plans (VCPs) International, in Middle and are being prepared by the co- South Andaman district. As a implementing partner, CARE part of its strategy, Handicap India, in Andaman and Nicobar International has oriented the Islands under the Community community resource persons on Based Disaster Preparedness how to include PWDs in the project funded by DIPECHO. The village resource mapping and VCPs aim to prepare vulnerability mapping. After this communities to cope up with exercise was undertaken, it has disasters and minimize the been seen that the participation impact of disasters. During the of the PWDs has increased and reporting period, 74 village they are now aware about the contingency plans were drafted available resources and and made disability inclusive, vulnerability at the village level. Task force members gathered in a planning meeting with the support of Handicap Participation of persons with disabilities in Mock Drills: On the occasion of National Disaster A disabled person demonstrating his skills Management Day (29th October 2008), in a mock drill conducted in Orissa CARE India has organised mock drills in Andaman Islands to demonstrate the skills of various task force members in search-rescue-evacuation and first aid. The persons with disabilities, who are part of various task forces, also demonstrated their skills (acquired through capacity building activities) in the mock drills.
  4. 4. Page 4 Issue - III Accessibility Audit: As part of its co-implementation strategy with the Welthungerhilfe, Handicap International conducted an accessibility audit of the resource centre being constructed by Ramakrishna Mission at Mahisamari village in Sagar Block of South 24 Parganas in West Bengal, under their CBDRM project. Handicap International has provided technical recommendations (includes illustrations, technical specifications, designs, etc.) to make the shelter accessible for all. On the request of OSDMA, Handicap International conducted accessibility audits of two multipurpose flood-cum-cyclone shelters in Orissa. These two shelters are located in coastal districts of Orissa namely Jagatsinghpur (Paradeep Block) and Kendrapara Drawing for ramp, stairs and handrail (Mahakalpara Block). The main objective was to identify the possible physical barriers at the shelter and provide recommendations to improve its accessibility for all vulnerable people, including persons with disabilities. Specific technical inputs have been provided to install handrails with existing ramps and staircase (for persons with low mobility to access shelters), to provide tactile mapping (helps visually and low vision to access the shelter independently). Recommendations have also been provided to modify the existing toilets to make it accessible for PWDs. Press Trip to Project Areas A press trip was organised to the project areas in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Orissa and West Bengal in the last week of October 2008. A European print journalist and a photographer were invited to visit the field activities and document the same through an article and series of photographs. The article, on disability and DRR project of HI in India, is targeted towards the European public and is slated to appear in a European newspaper. The Communication Coordinator accompanied the press persons to facilitate their interaction with the community. Field Visits Handicap International-India Country Director, Mr. Alain Coutand visited the field area in Orissa on from 5th—6th September 2008 along with the DIPECHO Project Manager, Mr. Debnarayan Bej. During the course of his visit, the Country Director met and interacted with Mr. P.K. Jena, UNDP Orissa and Mr. Gyana Das, OSDMA/UNDP. OSDMA and UNDP have been leading the DRR activities in the state and have expressed their willingness for long term partnership with Handicap International. It is expected that partnership with them on inclusive DRR will have larger impact on Orissa DRR programme. Mr. Alain Coutand also met Mrs. Usha Padhi, Director Women and Child Development Department and Mr. B.K Mohanty, Mrs. Puspangini Mohanty and Mr. Meghanad Behera from SAMBANDH as well as Ms. Asha Hans of Shanta Memorial Rehabilitation Centre (SMRC). He shared with the stakeholders about the various activities related to DRR being implemented in the field in collaboration with Sambandh. He also shared the vision of Handicap International and its perspective on disability and DRR as well as future plans in Orissa . The Project Manager also visited two villages in Banki block and interacted with the task force members, beneficiaries and the community. DIPECHO Coordination Handicap International has attended all the coordination meetings held during the reporting period. Three such meetings were held and attended by the DIPECHO Project Managers on the 14th August 2008 at IFRC, 22nd September 2008 at UNDP and 20th October 2008 at BBC WST. The meetings revolved around the Joint Advocacy Event and National Consultative Meeting to be held in New Delhi in the month of November 2008. Plans to observe the International Disaster Risk Reduction Day on 16th October were also formulated and reviewed in these meetings.
  5. 5. Page 5 Issue - III Team Update Ms Suparna Sarkar has joined as the Communications Coordinator from 1st September 2008. She has vast experience in Communications and has worked with several national and international organisations before joining the Handicap International. Ms Elise Beretz has joined as a short term Consultant in communications from the 15th September 2008. She is working on various communications activities in the project, alongside Ms. Suparna Sarkar. She will mainly work on the website being developed under the project. We welcome both on board. Case Studies Braving Disasters, Providing Succour Dulari Mondal, 30 years old, lives in Kadamtala, Middle Andaman with her family, including her mother, two brothers, their wives and children, and one sister. Her sister is unable to walk and her mother is visually impaired. Her lower limbs are non functional since birth and she uses her arms instead. She comes of a poor family and has never gone to school. Her brothers don’t have regular jobs; they are mainly daily wage labourers. However, Dulari runs a mithai (sweet) shop with the help of her niece. Living in Andaman, she is used to earthquakes and tremors. Unlike the people around her, who start Dulari Mondal demonstrating her first aid skills during a mock drill in Andaman Islands running here and there and start praying to God, she is not afraid. She says that “it is very important to keep your calm in these situations”. When the latest earthquake in a series of earthquakes struck, she and her family slept outdoors for three days. She believes that rather than being scared one should do something to protect oneself and their family. Then she found an echo of her beliefs and faith in the disaster risk reduction project being implemented in the area in which her village fell. Though she did not know anything about relief and rescue, first aid and early warning systems, she started attending the community meetings, being conducted by CARE India with the support of Handicap International to include persons with disabilities in the task force, and was soon an avid convert. She evinced interest in being a part of the first aid task force of her village and impressed by forthrightness and level headedness, she was co-opted promptly by the community resource persons. Now she attends training for the first aid task force and can match her skills in different first techniques, like tying bandages, performing the CPR etc, with able bodied person. She acknowledges the role played by Handicap International and CARE in giving a direction to her life. She knows a lot about disasters and how to cope up with them and at the same time help others, thanks to the volunteers who approached her, “otherwise I would be still sitting in a corner of my house doing nothing” she smiles.
  6. 6. Page 6 Issue - III Saving Lives, Changing Attitudes In a small village in South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, called Lakshmipur, where only 210 families live, mainly off fishing, rural and daily labour in agriculture, the community was started to be awakened one early morning, by Shambu Nath Doloi. Sambhu, 25 years old, has moderate mental retardation and speech impairment. When asked why he was in such a flap, he replied that he and his older brother had found a breach in the embankment and he had been asked by him to rush and knock at the door of every household, to bring men who could repair the embankment. His action eventually saved the life and livelihood of many in the village, when the Shambhu disseminating early warning in a mock drill organised in Lakshmipur, West bengal floods came in September. Shambu, who was usually considered a useless man on account of his mental retardation and spent his time wandering around the village or doing odd jobs in his home, has now gained a lot more consideration and an elevated status in the eyes of the people in the village. As he says in his own words, “I know what to do and I know how I can help the others if there is a disaster. Now I also know where to take Ma and Baba to “I know what to do save them”, stutters the young man who joined the Early Warning System and Rescue and and I know how I Relief task force program, established in the village with the help of Handicap International. Handicap International has provided technical support for the inclusion of persons with can help the others disabilities in the Early Warning System task force through orientation of the partners on if there is a specific needs and abilities of PWDs, by ensuring that the task force not only inform persons with disabilities about the coming disaster, on a priority basis, but also include some persons disaster. Now I also with disabilities who can be active members of the force. know where to take Ma and Baba to Rabindranath Kayal, a veterinary and neighbour of Shambu’s family, was astonished by the save them” improvement. “We never really interacted with him; we always thought he was more of a burden for his family and the villagers. Now, I think he can contribute to the village and even the country with his disaster management activities,” he says. 10, Ground Floor Zamrudpur Community Centre Kailash Colony Extension New Delhi—110048 India Ph: 091-11-4656 6934/5/6/7 Fax: 091-11-4164 6312 www.handicap-international.org This Newsletter has been produced by Handicap International – India with support from European Commission under its Humanitarian Aid Department funds. To know more about the project and for providing feedback and any other useful information please contact communications@hi-india.org. We also welcome Disability and DRR related materials.