Written by Debaleena Bagchi
Parwada in Visakhapatnam is an industrial area; consequently, talks of industrial safety measures and fire hazards are frequent among its inhabitants. Ever since a fire broke out last year and claimed eleven lives, the frequency of such conversations has, understandably, increased.
DEF believes that not only the workers at these factories, but also their children, should be provided with adequate information and made aware of safety measures so that they are able to help themselves and others. Therefore, DEF collaborates with the local government school and runs drills and practical workshops.
Our Project Officer, Tiru Patel, is particularly engaged in and motivated to make sure that the children in Parwada gain practical knowledge, become aware of the circumstances around them and learn how to react appropriately. Recently, with the help of equipment provided by DEF, he taught a Sixth grader how to build a fire alarm. Impressed by the outcome, the school then conducted a session with all the children of Grade 6 where the teacher demonstrated how the alarm works and, more importantly, advised the students on what to do when they hear it ring.
Tiru has helped conduct many such practical workshops in the past. Initially, all the material was provided by DEF. But having recognised how imperative such workshops are, the school has begun to encourage our social workers by equipping them with additional materials that they might require.
The school children participate enthusiastically in these workshops. They are also excellent at relaying information. After these sessions, the children often convey to their parents the safety measures they should abide by at work.
Knowing the two-fold impact of these practical knowledge-building sessions, we are even more determined to continue them. So far, our social workers such as Tiru, have received tremendously positive feedback from the children and their teachers. In the upcoming Parent-Teacher meeting, Tiru looks forward to interacting with the parents to learn what they think about the positive impact of the many practical workshops that he meticulously curates.