The departmental programme of 5-4-2013 was presented by Ms.Ruby.N and Ms.Geethu.M.Lal on the topic “Mainstreaming D.R.R into development, planning, policy, and implementation”. Mr.Rajeev.M.M (lecturer, Department of social work) was the chairperson of the presentation. The presentation started by 2 p.m. in front of the entire department- faculties and students of both the classes. Ms.Geethu.M.Lal started the presentation by describing the relation between disaster and development. She pointed out that the kind of development choices made in many countries unfortunately creates disaster risks. She quoted the definition of UNISDR and explained DDR as the conceptual framework of elements for minimizing disaster risks and vulnerabilities throughout a society for preventing and mitigating the impact for facilitating sustainable development. She also described about the stakeholders in DRR and the risk and hazard assessment programs like multi – disciplinary task, identification of past, present and future hazards determining the nature and behaviour of hazard etc.
Mainstreaming DRR is the major area that she concentrated on. A number of countries have taken the first step towards mainstreaming by incorporating disaster risk concerns into poverty reduction strategies and other national development policies. The presenter discussed about “DRR and millennium development goals” and explained every goal related with DRR.
Ms.Ruby.N covered the disaster risk reduction policy tools such as research, documentation, showcasing education, advocacy, institutional framework etc. She mentioned that systematic documentation of indigenous knowledge on disaster risk reduction is very essential. There is a high necessity of documentation and development of guidelines for disaster risk reduction in prone areas.
She suggested that education is the most elementary and important tool for the application of disaster risk reduction. Disaster risk reduction should be added in the curriculum of formal education in schools as well as in the university level. Key areas of action in the policy level are establishment of resource group, documentation and research, education, policy, advocacy etc. She widely discussed about some of the civil society network formed to take up DRR. Asian DRR network is the most important among them. It promotes coordination, information, sharing, collaboration among NGOs, and other stakeholders for appropriate disaster reduction in South Asia at policy and community level. It is the first of its kind in South Asia. Basin South Asia regional knowledge platform is committed to develop knowledge system and promoting collaborative action with South Asia to enable access by the poor to sustainable habitat and livelihood knowledge platform.
The presentation was followed by the question -answer and discussion sections. The participants were asked questions about the relevance of DRR concepts in India. The practicality of the DRR measures in the socially and economically backward states like Bihar was questioned. The response of Kerala and Gujarat citizens towards the DRR measures was asked to Ms.Ruby.N since she did her internship in both the places. She replied that the people in Gujarat are allowed to involve more in the compensation which creates a feeling of ownership, whereas the participation of Malayalees in the construction of buildings is very limited. Mr. Rajeev M.M added some more points regarding the query. According to him, Gujarati people are more adjustable to natural disasters since it happens there often, but Keralites are not familiar with it. Certain corrections regarding the presentation style and the clarity of technical words were pointed out by Dr.Renjith.R. Pillai(chairperson, Department of social work). Ms.Ruby concluded the program by saying that sustainable development can be achieved only by combining DRR activities and development activities. She also critically pointed out that the absence of this approach is the main reason behind the mounting death rates and property lose in the country due to disasters. The program concluded at 4.30 p.m.
Report by: Deepak Suresh
Edited by: Lekshmi Vimala
Photo by: Bibin S Babu