Trained educators perform the street play and explain the risks stemming from natural disasters.
The children were fascinated and learned a great deal. Their awareness is important for increasing safety in the slums.

International Day for Disaster Reduction: contribution by RISK Award winner Pune

The 2015 RISK Award winner is making progress in India. Tuesday 13 October was the International Day for Disaster Reduction. Our partner, AIILSG, used this important day to stage a theatre play for children to increase their awareness of risks.

Conducting a community risk profile
Primary research for the project has been completed in two slums - the Mahatma Gandhi Slum and the Janata Vasahat Slum on the slopes of the Parvati Hills in Pune. It involved a situation analysis including hazard mapping, disaster risk identification and vulnerability assessment for the development of potential disaster risk profiles at community level. Women and children from the slums helped to conduct community lane and infrastructure mapping. A household survey covering 60 houses in each slum formed the basis for research.

Detailed Focus Group discussions - half of them between women - in both slums contributed to vulnerability self-assessment. Interviewees and researchers now understand the specific risk factors in the communities better and are aware of the existing resources, capabilities and knowledge of safe practices for dealing with threats. Individual risk profiles for the slums have been developed on the basis of the mapping results, the research and the Focus Group discussions.


The "Gender Sensitive Self-Assessment and Planning for Disaster Risk Reduction by Slum Dweller Populations" participatory tool was designed and pilot-tested in the field. This tool will be used in the next quarter of the project to plan exercises and action on the ground with the slum dwellers. With the help of an artist, AIILSG developed pictorial depictions of each disaster vulnerability. The images were taken to the communities to obtain feedback on whether they are understandable, in particular for illiterate residents. Combined with easy-to-read signs in the form of well-known Smiley faces, the slum dwellers can now use the images to describe their risk situation in various ways. Important variables include:

  • The probability of occurrence
  • The state of preparedness
  • The intensity of women's vulnerability
  • The intensity of children's vulnerability
  • etc.

Addressing all vulnerable groups
In view of the wide diversity of education and literacy levels among slum dwellers, especially among women, elderly people and young children, our partners in Pune feel that it is necessary to use innovative awareness-raising methods. This is especially important considering the fact that the semi-literate women and children in slums are among the most vulnerable to disaster impacts.

To best meet the needs and improve the understanding of the people affected, street plays and puppet shows about disasters, threats and risk protection were rehearsed. On 13 October, the plays and shows were performed in three slums in Pune, thus contributing not only to the RISK Award project but also to the United Nations' International Day for Disaster Reduction. The event was a great success. Dozens of children and their parents attended the shows and learned in an entertaining and playful way about survival when disaster strikes.

CB, 11 November 2015

 

 

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