Port Blair, March 17: For the first time in the islands, the Port Blair Municipal Council has launched an awareness programme called “Do It Yourself”, which will cover all the 18 wards under the Municipality. The aim of this programme is to spread awareness among the city dwellers on proper segregation and disposal of waste generated in the households.

The awareness programme began on 16th March 2013 at the Community Hall, Dairy Farm wherein the Chairperson PBMC, Shri P.B. Murugan launched the programme in the presence of Shri Rakesh Bali, Secretary, Municipal Council. The programme began with a welcome address by Smti. Zamila Bibi, Chairperson, Public Health & Sanitation which was followed by extempos by the school children.

On the occasion a multi-media presentation on ‘Waste and Island Ecosystem’ was presented by the Assistant Director of Andaman & Nicobar Environmental Team (ANET), Ms. Tasneem Khan, who expressed the urgent need for a proper waste disposal mechanism in the islands.

Ms. Khan said that it is not too late for the islanders to address the issue, as the waste generated in the islands is mere 0.50% when compared to metropolitan cities like Bangaluru. While the islands generate 70 tonnes per day of waste including bio-degradable and non-biodegradable wastes, the waste generated in Bangaluru is at present 13000 Tonnes per day. And that gives a sigh of relief.

Expressing concern on never ending plastic accumulation in the islands, the Assistant Director in simple words explained how it has been affecting the Islands’ Eco System, which indirectly affects the health of the islanders. It was also demonstrated how segregation of wastes can begin at home, which would facilitate proper disposal.

Dr. Rishikesh, Member Secretary, Andaman & Nicobar Pollution Control Committee, in his presentation explained that the concept of plastic was brought in for the convenience of the people, which can never be stopped. He said that it becomes our duty not only to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle but also to Refuse at the first instance.

Narrating his experience in the islands, Rishikesh said that before the advent of plastic carry bags, islanders used to carry cloth bags with steel utensils to purchase wet food. This can still be done, provided there is a will and encouragement. He also said that there is nothing called ‘waste’, if it is carefully understood. The so called waste is generated when we do not understand how it can be re-used. Right from the bio-degradable wastes to plastic wastes that is generated can be re-used in some form or the other, which in turn would fetch us money, said Rishikesh.  

Shri Vijay Kumar, Sanitary Inspector on the occasion announced that the Port Blair Municipal Council has already taken a step with regards to proper segregation and disposal of wastes. As a first step, in Ward No. 8, a residential committee has been formed, which would inspect and spread the message on the need for the mission. Such committees would be formed in all the 18 wards gradually, he said.

The Port Blair Municipal Council is also planning in a big way to spread awareness and to involve the community directly in the mission. Awareness campaigns will be conducted on a regular basis in all the wards, which would overlap with training programmes for sanitary workers at different levels.

Among the others who attended the launch function, were members of the NGOs, local residents, school children, staffs and officers of the Municipal Council. The awareness programmes, waste disposal mechanisms,  segregation, trainings etc. shall be conducted under the active supervision of the Sanitary Officer, PBMC, Shri Vijay Tiwari.  

Car Nicobar, March 15: The Subroto Mukerjee Sports Education Society has conferred the Outstanding Player award to Kumari Sonal Devi, the Captain of the Lapathy School team, for her brilliant performance in the last Subroto Cup Football Tournament held at Dr. B.R Ambedkar Stadium New Delhi last year.  The award includes one-time grant Scholarship of Rs. Ten Thousands also. The school had received this intimation and Cheque from the Society recently.

Last year the team of Govt. Senior Secondary School Lapathy, Car Nicobar was chosen to represent these Islands in the National Subroto Mukerjee Cup School under-17 Girls Tournament. The Selection committee found some extra ordinary sporting skills in Somal and gave her the task of leading the team as Captain. Though the girls were very inexperienced of playing big matches yet they showed the determination to performing to the expectation in the Country’s most prestigious school tournament.

The team had to play the first match against Haryana in which the Islands girls showed their footballing skills to perfection to get applauded, despite the defeat. Later the performance of the team got better and better in the next league matches. A team comprising the best players of yesteryears watched every match of the Premier League to select the best players. The team of experts found the Captain of the Andaman Nicobar team Somal Devi, the one of the best among the lot to be chosen for the Scholarship.

Talking to this reporter, Somal said that the team has gained good experience of playing against the best players of the country in the Subroto Mukerjee Cup, and definitely this experience will be useful in the future. She hoped that the girls will get more opportunities to have specialized training and to play such big tournaments. A close friend of the Island’s National Star Cyclist Deborah, Somal said that she too wants to represent the country and bring laurels like her.

Meanwhile the Principal, Staff and Students of Govt. Senior Secondary School Lapathy have congratulated Somal on this achievement. The Principal Shri Abdul Rehman said that the Scholarship awarded to Somal will inspire other students as well, to excel in the field of Sports.

Day Long Training On “Rights Protection, Accountability and Disaster Risk Reduction” Held

Port Blair, March 14: A day long training on “Rights Protection, Accountability and Disaster Risk Reduction” was organised today at Hotel Megapode Nest Resort by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in association with Directorate of Disaster Management, A&N Administration and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute. The workshop is the third of its kind as it was felt after prolonged deliberation that there is a need to protect the rights of disaster stricken members during such emergency situations.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion the chief guest, Retired Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Chairman NHRC said that the training in A&N Islands being the third in the series after West Bengal and Tamilnadu is a community driven approach to promote and protect human rights during natural and man-made disasters and to ensure accountability during response after disasters. Disaster Management is an important matter and every Administration should take keen interest for its implementation in the right earnest, he added.

The NHRC Chairman further said that Disaster Management is an important area also because of the growing academic and policy interest it has been receiving. Disaster poses critical challenges, which calls for better strategies to meet the challenges. Besides there is also need for good governance policy for protection of Human Rights, he added.

Referring to the role of women in post disaster situation, the NHRC Chairman said women continues to discharge her duties with affection even in difficult situation in the aftermath of disaster and she should be given her due right and adequate protection. Disaster management adds new dimension to the existing strategies of response, relief and rehabilitation. Right based approach is considered to be more and more useful and people deserve it, the NHRC Chairman said. Adding that Human Rights framework provides important legal tools and mechanism through institutional structures, the Chairman also expressed that it is the duty of the concerned State or Administration to protect the property of the people during disaster situation.

In his opening remarks, the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Anand Prakash, thanked Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Chairman NHRC for coming all the way to the Islands to guide and encourage the officials about better implementation of disaster management. A&N islands are prone to natural calamities and the 2004 tsunami caused lot of devastation in these islands, the Chief Secretary said adding that during vulnerable times it must be ensured that the rights of the affected are protected. Anand Prakash further said that the agencies dealing with the Disaster Management should take note of it that the vulnerable sections of the society should be given more attention post disaster situation.

In her address on the occasion, the Commissioner-cum-Secretary (DM&RR), Smt. Punya Salila Srivastava said after the devastating tsunami 2004 the Administration and the people of these islands have been working towards disaster preparedness. As part of the preparedness the Administration has set up better communication network, State Control Room, Emergency Operation Centre, prepared Disaster Management Plan & SOPs besides mock drills are being conducted in regular intervals throughout the islands. The Commissioner-cum-Secretary (DM&RR) also welcomed the chief guest and others present on the occasion.

The daylong training dealt in depth about National Human Rights Commission, Rights in Natural Disaster and Community based Emergency Response Systems and Protection. The training was attended by various govt. institutions and NGOs working in the Islands.  

Training was imparted by Ms Vandana Chauhan from All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), Shri Jaideep Singh Kochher, Jt. Secretary (Training), NHRC, Smti Naghma Firdaus, Senior Specialist, CBDRM, NDMA and was coordinated by Shri Ashok Sharma from the Directorate of Disaster Management, A&N Administration.