Azad Kashmir Spectator

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A disaster greater than natural disaster

ISLAMABAD, March 23: Given the frequency of natural disasters in the world and the devastation that they cause, one would have expected public institutions to welcome offers of training in survival methods, but not the Federal Directorate of Education (FDE).

According to a senior official, the FDE showed no interest in the offer of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) to train some 400,000 students in its institutions in disaster management training free of cost.

CDA`s emergency and disaster management (EDM) directorate had sent a letter containing the offer to the director general of the FDE a few months back but got no response.

The official said the EDM wing had highlighted the importance of the training to cope with any natural disaster, especially an earthquake.

“The CDA had offered the FDE director general that its EDM wing can impart disaster management training to the 400,000 students studying in around 400 educational institutions in the capital,” said the official.

He said looking at the rising disasters the world over, a proper training programme for the students on disaster management drills would be highly beneficial to save lives. However, it seems that the FDE is not interested in the offer, he regretted.

“The EDM wing is capable of imparting training to such a large number of students within a few months.”

The official said they had even sent a reminder to the FDE but still there was no response.

In our reminder: “We have drawn her attention towards the much needed training which can be vital for saving lives during natural disasters.”

He said the EDM wing had skilled manpower, machinery and gadgets for running life-saving rescue operations during disasters. The authority also has a canine unit having several dogs trained on search and rescue operations.

“We have also prepared the training programme and assigned rescue workers to train the students,” he said.

It may be noted that several thousands students were killed in the October 2005 earthquake which hit parts of northern Pakistan, including Azad Kashmir.

When this scribe contacted the FDE Director General Shaheen Khan, she said she was not aware of any such letter sent by the CDA.

“I will see it (on Thursday)…I have to go through and check the files,” she responded when her attention was drawn towards the matter relating to almost 400,000 students.

“You can remind me (on Thursday) and then I will be in a position to give you an answer,” she said.


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