Capacity Building on Seismic Strengthening

The Need
Safe construction is impeded both by a lack of knowledge and enforcement of safety standards. With the construction workforce expected to more than double in the coming years, training and sensitisation on safer techniques has to be a priority. Retrofitting is one such skill.

How we helped
There is a robust educational and technological backbone to the construction industry in India. Yet most of the medium and small-scale construction is carried out by local contractors who further employee workforce with no formal construction training. Masons at the grassroots level are the key to the long-term recovery and rehabilitation process.

This initiative looked at improving the structural safety of school buildings and building the capacity of the local construction workforce at the same time. It was a means to bridge the gap between knowledge and practice.

The project was conducted in partnership with Temasek Foundation, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, IIT Roorkee and NIT Hamirpur. It covered two schools each in Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), Patan (Gujarat) and Guwahati (Assam).

School trainings were another integral cog. Apart from basic orientation on disaster preparedness, Children were trained on search and rescue, fire safety, first aid and evacuation drills. Teachers’ training and the creation of school disaster management plans also played an important role.