Need to conduct rigorous studies on Disaster Management

By Word for Peace Correspondent

Rescue_Uttrakhand_Indian_Army_Troop_ITBP_10A galaxy of scholars and specialists from various knowledge-domains
deliberated issues, challenges linked to Disaster Management in the
mountainous, terrain and elsewhere in the country.

The civil society and the corporate world should join hands with Government
for mitigation of disaster in the country, said Mr. Lal Thanhawla, Chief
Minister, Mizoram. Speaking at the inauguration of a two-day *International
Conference* on *Eastern Himalaya III- When the Mountains Move and the
Water Rise: Coping with Earthquakes and Flooding- The Health and Housing
Dimension, *the Chief Minister observed that detailed study for mitigation
of disaster needed to be carried out in the North-Eastern region. He
emphasized the need for a network of accessible health workers to address
the aftermath of disasters.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State, Ministry of
Home Affairs, Government of India talked about vulnerabilities that existed
in several pockets of the country in respect of disaster and how one needed
to go beyond dissemination of information and seek involvement of people at
large to mitigate impact of disaster. It was imperative, he felt, that
appropriate systems be put in place that would enable the people and the
Government to act swiftly in the event of a disaster besides initiating
measures that would reduce vulnerabilities. Meaningful human interventions
were required to ensure that the universe of challenges that confronts
people is appropriately negotiated. He talked about his personal
experiences to discuss the precariousness of human habitations in different
parts of the country that are vulnerable to disasters. He also spoke about
the disaster situations in Srinagar and Chennai that caught people unawares
causing loss of life and property.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Millia
Islamia, expressed the need to conduct rigorous studies on various aspects
of Disaster Management. Such studies, he felt, should involve all
stakeholders and scientists from various fields. There was a need to
educate people to reduce impact of natural disaster, he said. He drew the
attention of the audience to climate change that has led to tremendous
stress on nature thereby increasing the risk of natural calamities like
earthquake and floods. As an eminent Earth Scientist, he went on to add
that it was important to conduct Methodological Studies on Disaster
Management and how Jamia Millia Islamia had taken a lead by introducing an
academic programme course on Disaster Management following his assumption
of office. He emphasized that there was a necessity to develop a Corridor
of Study in the Himalaya that would facilitate field visits of students and
young teachers who would assume leadership in the area of Disaster
Management in future.

Prof. Santosh Kumar, Executive Director, National Institute of Disaster
Management (NIDM) spoke about the collaborative opportunities that existed
with various educational institutions and how the competencies of the NIDM
could be integrated with the academic programmes at the universities and
allied institutions. He offered all possible assistance to JMI for
development of the academic programme that has been rolled out for students
in the current academic year.

Earlier, Prof. Sanjoy Hazarika, Director, Centre for North East Studies and
Policy Research, JMI welcomed the guests and the participants for the
international conference and discussed the challenges of the North-Eastern
regions. The International Conference is being organized in association
with North Eastern Council (NEC), National Institute of Disaster Management
(NIDM) and National Centre for Peoples Action in Disaster Preparedness
(NCPDP). Ms. Anamika Deb Roy, Coordinator, Centre for North East
Studies and Policy
Research proposed the vote of thanks.

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