RCE Srinagar - 2020


Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir
Empowering Community for Combating COVID-19 Pandemic
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Empowering Community for Combating COVID-19 Pandemic
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Srinagar
Contributing organization(s) : 
International Alliance for COVID-19 Community Response

Sphere India www.sphereindia.org.in

COVID-19 Academy www.sphereindiacovid19academy.org

UP State Disaster Management Authority www.upsdma.nic.in

State Institute of Rural Development Uttar Pradesh www.sirdup.in

Centre for Environment Education Nepal (CEEN),

Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Dr. Abdhesh Kumar Gangwar
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Srinagar
Format of project: 
Manuscript, PowerPoint and Audiovisual
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Additional resources: 
The PPTs used by various resource persons in the webinars, Footage of the webinars all organized and shared in public domain
Disaster Management Acts, Epidemic Acts, Climate Change Action Plans,
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Address of focal point institution for project: 
RCE Srinagar Address:
House 037, Stadium Colony-A, Baramulla 193101, Jammu & Kashmir, India
Phones: +91-8840045154, +91-9419069589, +91-706037700

Focal Point Address:
A-459, Indira Nagar, Lucknow 226 016 India
Tele Fax: +91-522-2355350 Mobile: +91-9415104125
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
India, South Asia and many countries of Asia-Pacific Region for their high and dense population, poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition, poor sanitation, hygiene, high infant mortality, stunted growth of children, anemia and mosaic of other problems remain susceptible for disasters, pandemics, environmental, ecological, social, economic problems and remain challenging grounds for promoting ESD and achieving SDGs. These countries achieving SDGs and other Global Targets is must for the world to achieve SDGs and ESD 2030. Poor progress and even reverse progress in few SDGs is because of poor performance of these countries. Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan in South Asia and Indonesia, Malaysia and several others sail in the same boat.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
For COVID-19 pandemic illiteracy, poverty, high population density, indiscipline, poor implementation of law and order were the factors leading to rapid spread of pandemic, soon reaching to community level. There was mass level migration post lock down where COVID-19 protocols could not be observed. People lost their jobs and livelihood and providing people sustenance during the challenging times was a challenge. Availability of face masks, PPEs, respirators and health care facilities were serious challenges. Things going on line during and post lock down, availability of internet and infrastructure of digital reach out in rural areas became a big challenge.
January, 2020
South Asia and other countries of the Asia Pacific Region mentioned above becoming disaster resilient, climate smart and sustainable is much needed, both for these countries themselves as well as for the Global community. These countries falling short of development and desired progress will keep hampering achievement of desired UN Goals. DRR Preparedness helped in checking the loss of lives and property and saved money for development that was otherwise spent on relief and rehabilitation. Becoming climate smart saved agriculture and other livelihood sources bringing food security and prosperity. Environmental sustainability drives sustainable development and all the project activities put together help in achieving the SDGs and ESD 2030. RCE Srinagar projects have successfully achieved paradigm shift, relief to risk reduction. Collaboration with the government departments and agencies was required to get DRR mainstreamed, included into policies and practices of the government, all the departments, NGOs, civil society and the community. Getting DRR mainstreamed was much needed and a challenge but it has been done successfully. For containing COVID-19 pandemic RCE Srinagar besides doing activities in India has also reached out to many other countries, neighboring and beyond, helping them cope with the pandemic.
To ‘Cheer Up’ the community during tumultuous times, help them regain their lost confidence, convert the challenges posed by the pandemic during the lock down into opportunities; organize youth, train and capacity build them, and create a cadre of volunteers to help community; support Government agencies; organize skill development trainings for livelihood support; arrange relief material, for people in need; to help Gram Panchayats and Schools combat COVID-19 pandemic by making their ‘Village Disaster Management Plan’ and schools making their ‘School Disaster Management Plan’ mainstreaming DRR into them, ensuring safety and well-being of all, everywhere, all the time.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Joining and actively participating in networks, ‘International Alliance for COVID-19 Community Response’ (IACCR) at International level, ‘Sphere-India’ and ‘COVID-19 Academy’ at National level, ‘Inter-Agency Groups’ at State level, contributing to their discussions and learning from them; adapt and translate information gathered from International and national platforms, making them appropriate for the local community and through State and local level platforms take that to the local community through the cadre of volunteers; organize regular virtual platforms; arrange cash and kind support from humanitarian agencies and distributing it to the needy people; organize skill development trainings; supporting Government agencies, working with ‘Gram Panchayats’ and Schools; Reaching out to neighboring countries helping them also in containing COVID-19 pandemic.
Size of academic audience: 
Community India 500,000, overseas 100,000; Trained Volunteers 45, Women 60; Relief 2000 families
Project helped in containing spread of COVID-19 in India in UP, Jammu, and Kashmir, also in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia. It boosted morale and confidence of community, provided psycho-social care and support. It kept pandemic curve flat, reducing pressure on Government healthcare infrastructure. Door-to-door essential commodities supplied helped community stay in-door, isolated and safe, keeping others safe. With relief material distributed poor people sailed through tumultuous period with ease. Inculcating habits of hand washing, wearing face masks, observing respiratory and other hygiene practices has improved quality of life and quality of environment. Mainstreaming DRR into ‘Gram Panchayat Development Plan’ and ‘School Disaster Management Plan’ helped in fighting COVID-19. Project has triggered lots of local action in India and overseas on achieving sustainability. The presentations and footage of virtual sessions for subsequent revisits made available in public domain and being disseminated far and wide.
Lessons learned: 
A ‘Cheer Up’ call during challenging times does wonders. First step taken by one person is quickly followed and joined by others, gradually it turns into a mass movement. Taking first step is challenging, requiring courage and leadership, however, later on it becomes enjoyable, satisfying. Potential of community often remains untapped for the lack of leadership and people who can take the ‘first step’ not being there. Working together forming a coalition helps a lot giving multiplier effect. Supporting and joining Government efforts helps a lot. Communities’ expertise added with gathered from other communities Globally becomes a valuable treasure.
Key messages: 
Collaboration, lateral and vertical, at all levels possible yields much better results. Local communities have great strengths, needs to be recognized and promoted. Problems are interlinked, cross cutting. While addressing one problem it is worthwhile to piggy back addressing other problems. Achieving sustainability is key for addressing most problems.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
RCE Srinagar always believes in partnerships and collaboration, both lateral and vertical. RCE Srinagar also believes in working with the Government, involving them in its projects right from the beginning and getting the projects piloted mainstreamed. In the alliances and coalitions that RCE Srinagar formed and joined outside the RCE network like ‘IACCR’ and ‘COVID-19 Academy’ we involved several RCEs of Asia-Pacific Region in these initiatives.
There was no funding in cash for these initiatives. All the partners joined the efforts at their own cost. Some humanitarian agencies provided relief materials.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon Poster CEEN 19 May.jpg (136.4 KB) Webinar on COVID-19 with Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, others also joined Centre for Environment Education Nepal
Image icon Poster IACCR 29.05.2020.png (257.45 KB) IACCR Webinar Flier IACCR
Image icon Relief Material Distribution and Face Masks Stitching.jpg (76.22 KB) Relief material for distribution and tailoring centre stitching face masks Lok Paryavaran Shikshan Sansthan
Image icon Poster CEEN 5 June.jpg (437.33 KB) Webinar with Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other countries Centre for Environment Education Nepal
Image icon HNBGU Flier 10 Oct 2020.jpg (172.16 KB) HNBG University Webinar Flier HNBG University
Image icon TERI COVID n Indigenous Peoples.jpg (144.69 KB) COVID-19 and Indigenous People Webinar The Energy and Resources Institute
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level