MoU signed between XISS and CROPC in undertaking Disaster Management Programmes

Xavier Institute of Social Service (XISS), Ranchi, and its Rural Management Programme organized a Consultation-cum-Workshop on Lightning Preparedness, Early Warning and its Dissemination, Mitigation, and Research-Based Community Centric Solutions with a special focus on Tribals in Collaboration with Climate Resilience Observing Promotion Council (CROPC), New Delhi in its campus.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between XISS and CROPC for knowledge partnership and action-oriented activities in undertaking Disaster Management Programmes across the state. Earlier in the event Dr Joseph Marianus Kujur SJ, Director XISS gave a welcome address where he highlighted saying that lightning is one of the biggest killer disasters in Jharkhand claiming more than 350 lives in the past year, as national data depicts. Global warming, intense mining-induced pollution, depletion of water bodies, and deforestation are a few of the factors that comprise this issue. Entering an MoU with CROPC, XISS will focus on strengthening knowledge partnerships, research, training, and advocacy, for lightning resilience in Jharkhand.

Meanwhile, Shri Banna Gupta, Honourable Minister for Disaster Management, Government of Jharkhand and Chief Guest of the event, discussed the Tribal Lightning Resilience Programme and said that it is important to bring awareness on lightning disasters to the people so that we can prevent causalities from lightning and utilise it in the form of an energy source. Government initiatives like Aapda Mitra Scheme, NDFR & STRF training have been introduced to bring awareness to the people. Zone selection with effective utilisation is important and to have radar installation at the proper places for depicting the lighting effects.

Earlier during the event, an introductory speech was given by Dr Niranjan Sahoo, Associate Professor, XISS who set the tone of the consultation-cum-workshop and its importance in the state. The workshop aimed at strengthening the lightning resilience capacity of local communities, especially of tribal of all districts of Jharkhand. The special focus was on the tribal population involved in livelihood activities in the agriculture field, jungles, near water bodies, and open fields. The workshop was attended by around 200 participants comprising Bureaucrats, Professors, Practitioners from the field, and Rural Management students of XISS.

Col Sanjay Srivastava, Chairman, CROPC stated the importance of this workshop and signing an MoU with XISS and said that Jharkhand is the most lightning prone area of the country. To avoid lightning we have done a mapping of place, time, month, and availability of a location based system. The organisation aims to decrease the death rate of humans as well as animals. According to IMD data lightning has affected 96% of rural area out of which 90% were tribal farmers and the aim is to prevent the death of the farmers. A Damini App is also launched to reach the farmers working in the remote part of the state.

Dr Abhishek Anand, Director, IMD Ranchi, spoke on the lightning and thunderstorm forecasts across the state followed by Dr A Wadood, Director, Tribal Research Institute, GoJ who discussed the observations of Tribal lives of Jharkhand during lightning incidents and measures to undertake for their safety from lightning. The role of Media in Lightning Safety was highlighted by Mr Rathin Bhadra, Director, Aquiline Bhungru, Gujarat. While, Ms Rekha Purnima Khalkho and Ms Shilpi, from World Vision India, talked about Lightning Resilience with a focus on Housing, livelihood, Gender, and Children of Tribal communities. A demonstration of Lightning Protection Devices for Tribal areas was given by Mr Saravana Krishna D, CIKIT Electricals, Chennai.

An interactive session was also conducted for the audience which was attended by all the Heads and Faculty of all Programmes and students. The session ended with a warm vote of thanks by Dr Anant Kumar, HoP, Rural Management Programme, and the event was conducted by Dr Raj Shree Verma, XISS.