*Image courtesy myNoise.net

If 'survival of the fittest' principle holds ground, awareness about lightning resulting in the casualty of humans was need of the hour. The question is how to make people aware of its pros and cons?

In Jharkhand, nearly 130 people die every year due to lightning, a major natural disaster. In one place near Pithoria in Kanke block where a medieval tribal king Madara Munda lived, lightning was a regular feature.

Aware of it, the state Department of Disaster Management has made a proposal for the state education department to introduce a separate chapter on lightning at school syllabus as part of its plan to create awareness about the natural disaster.

The department has a record of Lightning and as such, it is considered to be one of the biggest natural disasters. On average, the department claims,130 people die every year due to lightning.

The Department has asked the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to prepare the chapter so that it can be recommended for incorporation in the social science streams of class IX and X.

MK Tiwari, who is Joint Secretary, Home, Prison & Disaster Management, says that after getting approval from the state education department, he plans to request the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to prepare a chapter on lightning. 

The move was to bring awareness about lightning among students who can focus on two other linked issues: Prevention and precaution to be taken before lightening.

The chapter may deal with developing a mechanism to come out with the correct and timely forecast of lightning and timely dissemination.

The department also plans to install Doppler Radar used as a medium of help in making analysis on lightning such as when the lightning will strike, and its detection with exact location, time, type and strength.

In fact, with the location-based system (LBS), the information can be used to prevent disaster within a 2 km radius of the possible place of lightning."Once the location of lightning is available, the alert SMS about lightning will be sent to all mobile subscribers within the 2 km radius,” thinks an officer. 

The SMSs will be great handy to people especially farmers and labourers as they can get information about the lightning. As it is, Karnataka and Kerala Governments have already introduced chapters in the syllabus of school students on lighting.

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