National Science Day 2017 celebrated across Indian Himalayan Region
CEE Himalaya with the support from Give2Asia and JSW Foundation, RCE Srinagar, Mountain Partnership, and Indian Himalaya Climate Adaptation Programme conducted various events across Indian Himalayan Region on the February 28, 2017 on the occasion of National Science Day.
The celebrations focused around ‘Science for Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Educating the Nomads’. CEE Himalaya has been implementing projects and programmes towards achieving ‘Climate Smart, Disaster Resilient and Sustainable communities’ in Indian Himalayan Region.
Celebrations in Central Himalaya
Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand: National Science Day was celebrated by CEE Himalaya in Government Inter College (GIC) Bhankholi in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state. More than 150 students and 15 teachers participated in the event. Mr. C.M. Prajapati, Professor, Science, P. G. College Uttarkashi was invited as the chief guest. As Uttarkashi is one of the most disaster prone districts of the state, CEE Himalaya Team decided to establish the role of science and technology in disaster risk reduction and climate change mitigation and aware students, youth and teachers on how impact of likely disasters can be minimized by developing a suitable early warning system, disaster preparedness and management of disasters through application of information technology tools. Participants were informed that how judicious use of internet and mobile phones can become very useful for disaster mitigation communication. They can obtain an array of information related to various hazards from different websites. All the international and national organizations and agencies are using internet for dissemination of weather observations and forecasts therefore students/teachers/youth can access such information very easily and can disseminate the same to their families and communities. They were also acquainted on how their mobile phones can be a lifeline before, during, and after an emergency. Contact group can be created making it easier to send warning messages, weather forecast and also let them know your status after an emergency. Also all the emergency contacts should be stored in mobile phones aiding in quick reporting to agencies, local administration and service providers. Representatives from various NGOs working in Uttarkashi district- Goonj, Azim Premji Foundation, Reliance Foundation, Shri Bhuvaneshwari Mahila Ashram also attended the event.
Celebrations in Western Himalaya
Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir: CEE Himalaya team celebrated National Science Day with Winter Super Coaching Classes at Government High School, Sheeri Balla, Baramulla, J&K. Around 45 students and 11 teachers participated in the event. The school is located in a remote area and this area is highly vulnerable to earthquakes, falling in seismic Zone 4 and 5. Due to its remoteness, no awareness activities have been organized by any civil society organization or local administration. CEE Himalaya was the first organization to conduct educational and awareness activities with school students and teachers. The event aimed at creating awareness on ‘Science for Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction and Educating Nomads’. Mr. Mubashir Zargar of CEE Himalaya introduced the organization to the participants. Thereafter, basic terminologies related to disaster management- disasters, hazards, vulnerabilities and risk were explained to students citing examples from Kashmir Earthquake 2005 and J&K deluge 2014. Students and teachers were also told about the actions to be taken before, during and after disaster like earthquake, fire, landslide, flood etc. Later the students participated in drawing competition where the students expressed their experiences of 2005 earthquake. Some student highlighted the scenario post 2005 earthquake, while others described the beauty of their region. The winners of the drawing competition were- Nasreena (standard 8th), Taufeeq (standard 9th), Sahila (standard 10th). The event concluded with prize distribution followed by vote of thanks.
Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir: Another event marking the National Science Day was organized at Government Middle School, Simbli Darhal, District, Rajouri, J&Kwith a participation of 35 students. Since Rajouri falls in seismic zone 4 it is necessary for schools students, their families and the community to learn about climate change and disaster mitigation. Therefore, CEE Himalaya organized various activities- lectures, debates, games to make students and teachers learn about disasters, dos and don’ts during disasters, school safety, emergency services etc. In addition students were involved in mini-science experiments to learn more about basic concepts of science to understand climate change, environment and disasters more closely. The principal of the school expressed immense gratitude towards the organization for conducting such joyful learning activities for students and invited CEE Himalaya conduct more such programmes in the entire area.