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Role of gram panchayats in disaster risk reduction discussed at planning workshop

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Senior Correspondent

BHOPAL: Importance of disaster preparedness and role of gram panchayats in it were highlighted by Madhya Pradesh director of panchayat and rural development (PRD) Amarpal Singh at a workshop organised on Monday jointly by UNICEF and state department of PRD.

Around 80 Janpad CEOs and PRD officials from various districts were participated in the workshop and engaged in a discussion on disaster risk reduction. Singh said that it is important that we learn more about the issue to be better prepared and to respond better during disasters.

Saurabh Singh, Deputy Director, State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) shared the steps taken by state government in disaster preparedness including advisories issued on heat wave, lightning and so on. He spoke on the efforts of SDMA and the various disasters being faced by the State with particular focus on lightning. He called on everyone to use the Damini app to be aware about lightning episodes.

Anil Gulati, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Madhya Pradesh, stressed on bringing in focus on children in context of disaster risk reduction. He also spoke on the various phases of disaster and importance of risk reduction planning and preparedness.

Pushpa Awasthy, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF, spoke on the need to focus on child nutrition during disaster and things that can be done as part of preparedness. Pooja Singh, Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF, gave details on child friendly panchayats.

Participants shared the work being done at the gram panchayat level and also raised queries with the experts. They also spoke about the challenges they face at ground level. 

Working in groups, the participants charted out an action plan on things they will do for planning, preparedness, during and post disaster at gram panchayat, in particular context of women and children. Nawal Meena, Deputy Director, PRD, was also present at the meet.

Participants came from districts of Dhar, Barwani, Guna, Khandwa, Raisen, Morena, Agar Malwa, Narmadapuram, Khargone, Alirapur, Betul, Chinndwara, Jhabua and Dewas.