In a bid to protect children and ensure connectivity during times of disasters, Finnish major Nokia and international non-profit Save the Children have extended their collaboration to another 174 villages in Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan.

A joint statement said Nokia will provide a Network-in-a-box (NIB) solution for public safety mobile broadband, in which the main mobile network functions will be integrated into a small ‘box’ and can be deployed during disasters in case the main operator run-network is impacted.

“The solution, which will be deployed in six pilot villages in early 2016, will act as a standalone communication system complete with its radio, core, access and application layers,” it said.

Sandeep Girotra, Vice-President and Head of India, Nokia Networks, said, “We will engage with stakeholders and partner with operators for the deployment of this solution.”

Phase-I of the collaboration, launched in 2014, concluded recently in 176 villages where Save the Children helped prepare communities respond efficiently both during and after disasters by creating specific disaster management plans, school safety plans and village task-forces, said the joint release.

Thomas Chandy, CEO, Save the Children, said, “Through this programme, we are making good progress in facilitating the last mile connectivity in bringing vulnerable children and their communities closer to government institutions for better implementation of disaster management policies and planning.”