Thursday, October 25, 2007

Attention : State administration and DGHC

The first Disaster Management Congress in India (organized by the National Institute of Disaster Management) was held in New Delhi between 29-30Nov last year. The function was inaugurated by the PM Dr Manmohan Singh.
Placed below is an excerpt from his inaugural address:-

"I do believe that the time has come for a paradigm shift in disaster management from a “relief-centric” and “post-event” response, to a regime that lays greater emphasis on preparedness, prevention and mitigation.

Such an approach should place emphasis on improving early warning systems, ensuring the reach and efficacy of dissemination, creating awareness and building capacities at all levels of public administration. I am, therefore, very happy that the draft National Policy on Disaster Management, places great emphasis on efficient management of disasters, rather than only focus on immediate response to disasters.

I must emphasise here that our disaster management administration is an integral part of overall administration. We cannot improve the quality of disaster management in isolation. Nor should we create parallel structures at the cost of regular administration. An improvement in disaster management has to be an integral part of the improvement in governance at all levels, especially in district administration. What we need are better support structures, which can make our responses to disasters more efficient, more rapid and more effective.

I must also add that disaster management should also be humane, apart from being efficient. Such a humane policy must pay due attention to the needs of children, senior citizens, women, disabled persons and weaker sections of society. Equally, it must be based on ensuring that in a post-disaster situation, the affected communities can be assured sustainable livelihoods, and they are assured of a reduced vulnerability to future disasters. Accountability, people’s participation, predictability and transparency will, therefore, have to be key features of such a policy."

What we, at "savethehills", want is the PM's words to be implemented in disaster management in the hills, so that it becomes more proactive rather than reactive.

praful rao

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