Students at University/college level are the capacities and at the same time vulnerable group also in all disasters. Universities have their role cut out in not only making the life of students convenient but also providing continuum in education during emergency times as well. Keeping in view the fact that higher education institutions have to play a crucial role in continuing education with the added responsibility of disaster management education, to describe in detail the role of higher education institutions in various stages of disaster, the community at large In order to make the participants aware about the use of youth power in the activities related to capacity building and to explain the process of bringing disaster risk reduction into the mainstream of higher education stream, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India conducted a National Webinar on Role of Higher Education in Disaster Risk Reduction in collaboration with Dada Ramchand Bakhru Sindhu Mahavidyalaya.
The programme was organised under the guidance of NIDM’s Executive Director Major General Manoj Kumar Bindal.
Shri H R Bakhru, President Sindhi Hindi Vidya Samiti during his inaugural address said that disasters are everywhere and timely intervention by all concerned can reduce its impact.
Dr. Vinky Rughwani, Chairman and Dr. I.P. Keswani General Secretary Sindhi Hindi Vidya Samiti in his special address thanked ED NIDM for collaborating with DRB Sindhu Mahavidyalaya for deliberating upon such an important topic and congratulated the organising team of both the institutions for conducting webinar on involvement of institutions of higher education in DRR activities.
Dr. V. M. Pendsey, Officiating Principal of DRB Sindhu Mahavidyalaya in his Valedictory address, reiterated the importance of the contents of the programme.
Shri Shekher Chaturvedi, Assistant Professor, NIDM making a presentation on Role of Higher Education in Disaster Risk reduction. During his presentation, Shri Chaturvedi, said that the New Education Policy 2020 has thrown open many dimensions about higher education such as flexibility in completing the courses, practical involvement during courses, Single point of governance of higher education management etc. He also explained the issues which will emerge when mainstreaming of DRR into higher education takes place. This will include extension of roles of faculty, provisions of new areas of research with less available data, lack of trained personnel etc. He also shared the roles which higher educational institutions will have to play through their administration, faculty and students. He also highlighted the initiatives taken by NIDM for mainstreaming DRR into Higher Educational Institutions through India Universities and Institutions Network for DRR under the Agenda 6 of Hon’ble PM’s ten-point agenda for DRR.
The last session of the programme was focused on building resilience and empathy through higher education. During this session, Dr. Sushma Guleria, Assistant Professor, NIDM discussed about problems pertaining to mental health, its well-being being faced by students, faculty and administration of the higher education. She said that such problems have been aggravated by the pandemic. Students are worried about their future, technical streams have been undergoing studies without being exposed to practicals, etc. faculties and administration also are short of replies to many queries of students related to their future. There has been huge impact on mental well-being of students with all this prevailing. She also talked about stress, PTSD and psychological trauma which is gaining its grounds in terms of its impact. She said that release of pressure is the best way to calm the needy and subsequent to this bringing him/her back to society with dignity helps him/her regain normalcy and start contributing to the society. She discussed various tools which can help in releasing pressure and regain normalcy.
The Welcome address was delivered by Shri Naveen Maheshkumar Agrawal, Convenor of Program & Registrar of DRB Sindhu Mahavidyalaya.Shri Arun Verma, Young Professional NIDM presented a formal vote of thanks.