Two IRDR young scientists Dr. Basanta Raj Adhikari of Tribhuvan University and Mr. Ranit Chatterjee of Kyoto University jointly conducted an awareness generation program with the local youth group in Kathmandu, Nepal. The event addressed present DRR needs in Nepal and shared experiences of youth participation in DRR activities in Japan. IRDR’s Young Scientist Programme provided them a common platform to discuss, exchange ideas and collaborate for a common goal of creating DRR awareness among community specially Youth.
Realizing that the youth in Nepal has been actively engaged in response, reconstruction and overall recovery after the 2015 Nepal earthquake, this event was conducted to exchange ideas in order to explore new avenues and strengthen the youth participation in DRR activities in future. The event was supported by National Youth Alliance for Reconstruction which is a youth group working on strengthening youth leadership and promotes community led reconstruction process in 14 earthquake affected districts of Nepal. As a part of the event titled “Youth Action in Disaster Risk Management”, Dr. Adhikari and Mr. Chatterjee made respective presentations and engaged the participants in active discussion to engage students in disaster management activities. Dr. Adhikari made presentations covering topics such as disaster terminologies, possible engagement for youth in disasters management and what kind of activities to be covered under each phase of the disaster cycle. He further detailed out the process of risk assessment, planning and implementation of plans and related challenges and how youth can contribute in each phase. While Mr. Chatterjee shared his experience of Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan with specific focus on the role of university students sharing a comparative study of students participation in DRR in Kyoto University and Tohoku University, Japan.
Following the presentations, a group discussion was initiated to understand what would be possible avenues of engaging the youth in Nepal. It was shared during the discussion that youth would play an important role in overall reconstruction of the society cutting across social, economic and Institutional governance and not just physical reconstruction. Further, youth can bring in awareness for better implementation of building code and also involve in making college disaster management plans. More than 30 participants coming from varied disciplines namely social sciences, law, and environmental sciences among others attended the event representing various universities. A majority of the youth showed interest in pursuing full time degree program in disaster management, which reflects the growing awareness among Youth of Nepal on disaster management.