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Disaster management seminar conducted

Staff Reporter

KARUR: Heeding the caution of the authorities to evacuate in times of natural disasters and shunning river courses while setting up homes can help reduce damage and prevent casualties. Non-governmental organisations (NGO) can play a vital role in moulding public opinion in these issues, the Karur Superintendent of Police, K. Shankar, said.

While none can prevent natural disasters, everyone can contribute their bit to reduce the negative impact of disasters if adequate awareness is created among the masses, especially the downtrodden, Mr. Shankar pointed out, at a seminar on `Disaster Management and Awareness' conducted by the Psycho Trust, Karur, recently.

Co-ordinated effort

Lauding the NGO for conducting the seminar at the right time, in the aftermath of the torrential rain and floods in the Cauvery and Amaravathy rivers, the SP recalled that people of Vangal Agraharam on the banks of the Cauvery had to be forcibly evacuated after they refused to heed the officials' advice to vacate their houses when the floods were threatening to sweep them away.

In times of disasters it becomes a Herculean task for government agencies alone to carry out relief activities. If NGOs join hands with the Government in relief activities then protecting people and their belongings becomes much easier. So would the task of rehabilitation of the affected, Mr. Shankar said, pointing to the overwhelming and spontaneous response from NGOs following the tsunami in the State.

Over 1,500 members belonging to 142 self-help groups from all over the district participated in the seminar. It was necessary that people were made aware of the precautions they had to take in times of various disasters to prevent loss of life and property, the Trust Director, J. Christuraj, explained, detailing the objectives of the seminar.

V. Harikrishnan, Regional Sales Officer, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, Thanjavur, elucidated on the appropriate public response to natural, chemical and other industrial disasters. A. Philorani, president, Sangamam, promised the participation of at least 50 SHG members in times of disasters and emergencies to help the authorities. Psycho Trust coordinators Henry and P. Kalyanasundaram organised cultural programmes to drive home the message of safety during emergencies.

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