The Department of Social Work Amritapuri Campus conducted department programme of 19th March 2013, started at 3:00 pm, Seminar topic of the day was “Disaster Preparedness”, Mr.Rajeev.M.M, Chairperson of the seminar gave an introduction of the topic, followed by the presentation and discussion of Mr.Anas.R and Ms.Jessica.J.John of S2 MSW.
Mr.Anas.R started the presentation describing the importance of disaster preparedness and he stated that preparedness should start from the community level. He also described the significance of Village disaster management Committee.Community level preparedness is the main focus of disaster preparedness. Necessity of identifying the vulnerable groups like women, children, old age people, physically handicapped was also described. He also pointed out the sense of conducting awareness trainings where local self government plays an important role.
Ms.Jessica covered the role of government in disaster preparedness such as identifying vulnerable groups and disaster prone areas, implementing national policy for preparedness measures etc. She mentioned that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is systematically organized in different levels such as national level, state level, district level and community level. There is a high necessity of documentation and development of guidelines for disaster preparedness in prone areas. UNDP is providing funds for disaster preparedness.
The presentation was followed by the question – answer and discussion sections. The participants were asked about the relevance of disaster preparedness and role of local self government in India etc. Mr.Anas replied that the local self government forms the village disaster management committees for training vulnerable groups according to their scope. V.S. Kochukrishnakurup (Lecturer in Department of Social Work) asked for the preparedness necessity for sudden disaster. The response from Mr. Anas was identifying the vulnerable groups and prone areas followed by the provision of awareness trainings making the people mentally, physically able. Ms. Veena Suresh (Lecturer in Department of Social Work) pointed out the disaster in Uttarakhand and its impact raising question on the significance of preparedness. Mr.Anas replied that impact of disaster in Uttarakhand increased due to unsafe construction of buildings. According to him, to avoid unsafe construction of buildings in disaster prone areas will reduce the impact of disasters in prone areas like Uttarakhand.
Mr. Bibin S Babu commented that addition of the role of SHG’s (Self Helping Groups) and PHC (Primary Health Centre) in disaster preparedness in the presentation would have conveyed much to get a clear picture. Mr. Joby.T .Lal pointed out the manmade disasters which are given least concern. He pointed out the Chadayamangalam bus accident – a recent manmade disaster suggesting some preparedness measures such as awareness trainings for reducing the number of deaths and other impacts. Good comments were given by audiences. 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). He advised the audience to respond well and asked each person to raise a piece of information on the topic to learn collectively. Mr. Rajeev.M.M said – the disaster happened in Uttarakhand is both natural and manmade. He stated that flood is a natural disaster but the impact of disaster in Uttarakhand was increased due to unsafe construction of buildings. Mr. Rajeev.M.M concluded the topic on the whole summarizing the major areas briefly at 4.30 p.m.
Report by: Praveen.P.P