When disaster strikes, act fast
PHOTO: VIVEK BENDRE
BRAVE HEART: A rescue act worth emulating.
NATURE HAS its own mood and a very vibrant behaviour. In the past few weeks, there hasn't been a day when nature's wrath didn't make headlines. No matter how developed and powerful mankind becomes, there is not one soul on earth who can predict a natural calamity will strike.
But is this a reason we should just sit in a cozy corner of our homes and watch a thousand lives just being swept away?
The answer ought to be "no," if even a tinge of humanity is still alive in each one of us.
Mumbai, the metropolitan that India has ever been so proud of for proclaiming developments in every field, was left half submerged when the sky cracked open on that merciless Tuesday. And what was urgently needed was disaster management.
It's not just about being best prepared for natural calamities but for man-made disasters as well. "Crash course" may not be a happy term in the circumstances, but that's what's needed at this moment in the basic principles of disaster management. It's not just size, but speed that's important.
There are various institutes that are now offering courses on the subject. They not only impart education on how to battle catastrophes but also how to learn from the previous ones and to be better prepared for the future.
Resources need to be swiftly matched with needs. The whole process has to be dynamic and continuous. Further deterioration must be prevented; as the saying goes, "we cannot hold back the tide, but alert action can minimise impact."
Some of the institutes and university departments that have arranged for programmes in disaster management and its improvement are:
-Disaster Mitigation Institute (www.southasiadisasters.net) , Ahmedabad. It's mission is to equip the disaster victims individuals or groups or agencies with the resources to develop solutions to physical, social and economical challenges of relief and reconstruction.
-Disaster Management Institute, Bhopal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It organises training for working managers and government officials relating to the areas of management of natural disasters.
-Center for Disaster Management (CDM), Pune, (www.yashada.org) . Training programmes on management of earthquakes, workshops on community participation in disaster management and allied topics are conducted periodically.
-National Centre for Disaster Management (NCDM) (http://www.ncdm-india.org) which offers a six-month certificate course. -Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) (www.ignou.ac.in) . It offers a PG Certificate in Participatory Management of Displacement, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (six months).
-Sikkim-Manipal University of Health, Medical and Technological Sciences, Tadong, Gangtok, Sikkim (www.sikkimmanipal.net) has a off-campus centre located at the Indian Institute of Ecology and Environment (IIEE), New Delhi.
It provides for a Master's in Science in Disaster Mitigation. The programme is spread over two years and 10 papers, including a thesis.
-PRT Institute of Postgraduate Environmental Education (www.technologyindia.edu/introduction.htm) has a research affiliation with the Institute of Open & Distance Education, Barkatullah Vishwavidyalaya (email@example.com), Bhopal. It organises a few courses in relation to ecology.
So, if we want this world and our own lives to be safe, we need to step forward, because disasters will strike time and again, but...we need to survive!
Send this article to Friends by