Play-based drill teaches children emergency response tactics
Mithun Caravan Games
Kohima, Nov. 1 (EMN): The government authorities in Nagaland have launched a play-based educational program, considering the need to equip children with the basic know-how about what to do when confronted with nature emergencies. ‘The Mithun Caravan Games’ is a disaster response educational programme that has been introduced aiming at students in class-3, 4.
In collaboration with the Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) of the Home department, a group called the Social Empowerment Organisation (SEO) launched the first phase of the Games at the Heritage in Kohima the morning of Nov. 1.
The Mithun Caravan is an adapted version of the Japanese ‘Iza Kaeru Caravan’ an emergency drill, which uses the ‘fun and learn’ approach to teach children about disaster response or prevention.
An objective of the Caravan, as was explained during the launch, is to enhance the capacity of children through an interesting set of games for them to understand the concept of what disaster risk reduction is. This is to make emergency response activities familiar to them in a more enjoyable way.
The activities and tools in the Caravan include dunking balls; survival food practices; debris clearance, bucket relay, fire targets, use of sand bags; rescue drills; and a short quiz competition about essential emergency items.
The secretary for Home, Rovilato Mor said during the event that the day was important and pertinent for the people, especially for the children to be equipped to face emergency situations that are unpredictable, natural and unavoidable. The need to educate people is even more important considering how nature emergencies have been happening in the state during the past few years, affecting the lives of the people.
Although the Japanese version uses large soft toy frogs, the officer said, the Nagaland version decided to use the Mithun, the state emblem of Nagaland state, which everyone in the region is familiar with. The objective of the Caravan, he said, is to help and guide children to learn about the various skills that can be applied in real life when confronted with emergency situations especially nature emergencies.
“It has become practical and pertinent to develop the instinct of being ‘alert and act promptly,’ which should be deeply rooted in our sub consciousness and psychological build-up,” Mor said. He said being well-prepared physically and mentally to face any kind of situation is an essential requirement.
An official of the NSDMA, Thejangulie Zao also spoke about how the Mithun Caravan was born. He said that it was in Oct. 2016 when he and some others were selected from India to go to Japan. He learned the Japanese version of the games that was being used there to educate children in disaster preparedness.
The sets of games in the Caravan, he explained, teach children not only about saving themselves but others and help the community too. Being aware of emergencies and disasters and being prepared for it should be a culture adopted by all, he said.
The program will be extended to all the districts after the first phase in Kohima. Five schools from Kohima participated in the day’s event.
The Mithun Caravan
Netting the ball: This game is to enhance teamwork and coordination among players.
Eating and drinking for survival: Participants are asked to eat food items, placed on a table, pretending that they are eating for survival during any emergency situation. They are to keep ready some packaged food and drinks for survival.
Debris clearance: This game helps children identify and segregate different materials and debris that result from damage to structures, and teach children about team work during emergency rescue. It teaches children to dispose the debris in the right, designated locations.
Bucket relay: This is to help the children understand the importance of relaying water from the source to the site of incidents in fire fighting and fire situations.
Fire target: The children get hands-on experience in dousing fire with sprayers and mugs.
Sand bag: The children get an idea about stacking sandbags during landslides, or in the landslide prone areas, protecting the area from further damage.
Rescuing the Mithun: This game helps children learn how to improvised or make stretchers using blankets and bamboo poles. They can also use different available resources to rescue people trapped in debris during emergency situations.