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14th October 2016. NEW DELHI: To mitigate any future disasters, a web-based application for an early warning system and a mobile-based application on road safety was launched today. Bal Raksha Bharat, with the support of Nokia and the Disaster Management Authority (South-East District of Delhi) have come together to use technology to minimise the impact of disasters in urban slums, for the very first time.

The web- based early warning system is a desktop-based application through which disaster alert messages can be sent by the administration to multiple recipients, people who are likely to directly get affected in the event of a disaster. This system enables the administration to send text and voice messages to the targeted community.

In the South-East district of Delhi, the program “Building resilience among children and their communities” is working to strengthen preparedness of 25 urban slums.

“We are trying to establish a system along with the government authorities, where the Emergency Operations Centre would not only provide warning signs but also open up resources for the common man to be better prepared for disasters such as earthquakes” said Vinay Iyer, Project Director – NOKIA, Bal Raksha Bharat. “Through this initiative, we are catering to the needs of children during emergency.”

The mobile-based road safety application has multiple features that would immediately help an accident victim. The application will use SMS-based technology to send messages (with location details) to cri    tical life-saving departments like police and health. It would also send the same information to preferred contacts. The app would also enable anyone to click the photo (geo-tagged) of the accident site and send it to the designated authorities for necessary action. Here India Pvt. Ltd (HIPL) was the partner to develop the road safety application.

Children and women are 14 times more likely to die than men during a disaster (International Union of Conservation of Nature). In such a risk scenario, it is important for cities to develop resilience against a variety of disaster risks.

Under the Bal Raksha Bharat – Nokia led program, a physical resource centre – Disaster Management Resource Centre (DMRC) – was also inaugurated at the Disaster Management Authority’s Office, which will be equipped to coordinate with different agencies during an emergency both man-made and natural hazards related. It will play a crucial role in disseminating early warning, coordinating search / rescue/evacuation activities and support local authorities during disaster time. During ‘peace time’ the DMRCs will act as a resource center and provide information on DRR as well as Social Protection Schemes to fifteen thousand households in the South-East district.

Growing urbanisation and constant growth of cities is leading to new forms of vulnerabilities. These include exposure to both natural and man-made risks. The concentration of people in urban centres is making these risks even more complex.

According to Bal Raksha Bharat’s report, ‘Forgotten Voices – The World of Urban Children in India’, released in 2015, weather-related disasters have more than tripled over the last 30 years and are on a constant rise world-wide.

“The Emergency Operations Centre will facilitate effective response mechanism in times of disasters. During peace time the centre will function as Disaster Management Resource Centre that would strengthen disaster preparedness by disseminating Disaster Risk Reduction messages.

This initiative is part of the social cause supported by Nokia – Building Resilience of Children and Communities in India through Disaster Risk Reduction and Social Protection with Technological Innovation social cause – launched in 2014 across 5 states – Bihar, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.
Bal Raksha Bharat works across 21 states of India; and, apart from its humanitarian work, it focusses on issues related to education, health and protection of children, especially for the most deprived and marginalized children.

For further information — including interviews with spokespeople — please contact: 
Devendra Tak Mobile: +91 98111 68488 Email: d.tak@savethechildren.in

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