Reflecting on My Role as ADN’s Junior Champion
By: Arkoneil Ghosh
2022 was lengthy yet intriguing for me. This is because I began working at ADN as Junior Champion from May. My first project was creating awareness on drowning deaths.
The World Drowning Prevention Day, declared in April 2021 by the General Assembly resolution A/RES/75/273, is held annually on 25 July. This global advocacy event serves as an opportunity to highlight the tragic and profound impact of drowning on families and communities and to offer life-saving solutions to prevent it.
This year ADN decided to organise a webinar. For this I was requested to design a poster, talk about it and create a video. I developed a poster titled ‘10 Ways to Prevent Drowning Deaths’ and a short video.
I began my research by collecting information from different UN reports, interviewing the coastal guards on beaches, and three experts. I am based in Mumbai/India, so I could understand how common drowning is. My grandmother who was born and brought up in Bihar narrated her experience with floods and the prevalence of drowning deaths. Bihar is India’s most flood-prone state with 76% of the population residing in flood-prone areas.
After speaking with my grandmother I read a lot to create my poster. The ADN Team gave me lots of feedback and I took them forward to develop my poster.
After my poster was created and was ready, I began creating my video in mid-June. In consultation with the ADN team, I developed a questionnaire for the interviews with three experts. These experts were from the regions, which have high burden of drowning deaths.
First, I interviewed Ms Aryel Rojas Pinto from Costa Rica, a Behavioural Psychologist working with Amazon as a Learning, Development and Quality Manager. She made me realise that in Latin America (not Costa Rica specifically, but entire Latin America), as soon as a disaster strikes, animal behaviour changes. Due to climate change the frequency and intensity of floods are increasing with debilitating impact on drowning deaths.
Second, I interviewed Dr. Dhriti Bhattacharya, a Science Writer, Visual Communicator, and expert on seaweed extracts. She explained that kids with no parental supervision are more at risk of drowning. Furthermore, children are not taught to learn the skill of swimming.
Third, I interviewed Ms. Tannistha Chatterjee, a Geography Teacher from Mumbai. She holds M.Phil. in Demography from the International Institute of Population Services. She mentioned that drowning deaths can increase or decrease depending on the precautions taken by the local authority. Coastguards or personnel can prevent drowning. Training camps can be initiated for children to learn swimming.
In conclusion, drowning is a major problem that needs attention. Drowning leads to many deaths in India. Drowning is an avoidable death which can be prevented through effective public health measures and interventions that enable children to learn swimming in small towns, villages and cities of India. To watch my video on ADN YouTube, please click here.
Author’s short bio: Master Arkoneil Ghosh is a 13-year-old student in Mumbai, India and ADN Junior Champion Intern for Special Sessions.