The residents of Korail slum in Dhaka, which has witnessed several fire incidents in the past few years, were given training on firefighting protocols, which included a workshop, lessons in firefighting and an awareness campaign on fire hazards for the slum residents.
The Capstone Project was jointly organised by Jaago Foundation and Teach For Bangladesh, with support from Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence.
Korail is one of the densely populated slums in the capital, residence to mostly people from lower-income groups.
There are 142 schools in the slum area, being run by several developmental organisations.
The recent incidents of fire have caused significant damage to the schools, disrupting the education of children who live there, as well as severely affecting a number of families and their livelihoods, the organisers of the training said.
As a part of the Capstone Project, the children were taught the safety protocols in case of a fire hazard, and the effective ways to mitigate risks of a fire.
Shahinur Selim Sujon and Faisal Mahmud, who were involved with the project, said the training was organised to help third graders participate in social activities, develop leadership skills, and get a hands-on experience in solving practical problems, in addition to their regular education.
Teach For Bangladesh Chief Executive Officer Maimuna Ahmad said: “Our fellows are constantly working in all schools to help underprivileged children of Bangladesh acquire skills on leadership values and increase their participation in social activities.”
Fire Service Dhaka Zone Assistant Director Mamun Mahmud, who was present at the training, appreciated the initiative. “Most of the shanties in Korail slum are made of tin and wood. Every year, fire occurs in the slum because of carelessness and causes massive amount of losses,” he said.
Amina Begum, a resident of Korail who attended the training, shared her experience of the last fire incident. “I was sleeping, and woke up when I heard people screaming in the middle of the night. The fire was very close to my house.
Everything was burnt to the ground before my eyes, and I could not do anything.”
The training was also attended by officials from different fire stations and ActionAid. Bijoy Bangla Foundation and Community Volunteers assisted with the drill.