While scores of students lost their lives in the Malin tragedy that struck last year, a new lesson in Class V of the state board textbooks hopes to teach a few life lessons to students on what to do during natural calamities.
However, the change has only been brought in the books in Marathi-medium schools and no such chapter has been introduced in English-medium schools. Hence, it is expected that they would share some tips on how to go about it,” said a senior Marathi teacher. Recurring quakes shaking Delhi-NCR, along with other places in North and East India, have raised fear among people. It has now become clear that the ferocity and frequency of natural disasters in India and across the world are now greater than ever before. The main natural disasters bothering the country are floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and cyclones.
Among these, earthquakes and tsunamis are the most disastrous ones as there is no warning or alert issued before their occurrence. In the recent past, during two earthquakes and their aftershocks, our governments had put in all the available resources to mitigate disaster impact and successfully carried out relief operations. Under that project, the NDMA was supposed to retrofit the old buildings and make all the new ones disaster-resistant.

Meanwhile, he added that in the Marathi medium books that introduced the chapter, there are some interesting exercises like activity-based projects. Introduced this academic session, the chapter on Malin landslide that killed 151 villagers has been incorporated in the Marathi language textbook of Class V in the state board’s Marathi-medium schools. This could be attributed to lack of communication and also because most of the people in India are still unaware of the safety measures supposed to be taken in case of such disaster. One week after the Nepal tragedy, general insurance companies are flooded with inquiries about protection against natural calamities. Though the inclusion of the new chapter has been welcomed by Marathi-medium schools and principals, they aren’t quite satisfied by the joint teachers training provided by SCERT and Balbharati. Moreover, the manpower in disaster management agencies are negligible when compared to the huge population of our country.
It begins with snapshots of newspaper clippings that gives information about the landslide, followed by a list of objective questions like the season in which the landslide took place, the agencies that reached the spot for rescue operations, what difficulties were faced in rescue ops and which agency came forward with announcement of relief for villagers. Students have also been asked to differentiate between man-made and natural calamities, besides maintaining a book where they should cut and paste newspaper reports on natural calamities and disasters.

Insurance companies say that the number of inquiries for home insurance shoots up after major disasters but they rarely result in actual sales. According to a recent report by Swiss Re, only 10% of the $52 billion lost in Asia in 2014 due to natural and manmade calamities were covered by insurance.
As mentioned earlier, you need to cover the cost of reconstructing a house damaged by a disaster. An act of God is any event, especially a natural disaster, for which no individual can be held responsible.

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