Seminar on Disaster Preparedness

Seminar on Disaster PreparednessImage

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

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SEMINAR ON “SALIENT FEATURES OF 12TH FIVE YEAR PLAN”

As part of the Academic Programme series, a seminar on the -“ SALIENT FEATURES OF 12TH FIVE YEAR PLAN “ has been organized by   Department of Social Work, Amrita Vishwavidyapeetam on 1/2/13. Mr. Ranjith Kavumkara (faculty, Dept. of Social Work) was the chairperson and Ms. Aswathy Asok and Mr. Deepak V were the presenters of the topic.

Note of the Chairperson

Mr. Ranjith Kavumkara me20130201_144019ntioned three adjectives fast, sustainable and inclusive which have been considered as the ‘mantra’ of the 12th five year plan. He reminded the audience about the contradiction in the country achieving an average of 7.9 % growth GDP and falling its HDI rank from 127 to 134 in the previous plan period. In year 2009 witnessed 4 Indians becoming members in the 10 richest people’s club and at the same time 3 Indians becoming members of every 10 poorest. He expressed a view that from the above mentioned adjectives, fast is being achieved but sustainability and inclusiveness went missing in our previous plan experience. The debate for 6% GDP for education has been vanished.

Presentation

An overview on 12th five year plan and objectives of the plan was presented by Ms. Aswathy Asok . She spotted out that for the smooth functioning of any economy, planning plays an important role and the Planning Commission has been entrusted with the responsibility of the creation, development and execution of India’s five year plans. The eleventh plan completed its term in March 2012 and the twelfth plan is currently underway. She also explained the planned objectives of this five year plan i.e.

  • Better performance in agriculture
  • Faster creation of jobs in manufacturing
  • Wider industrial growth
  • The creation of appropriate infrastructural facilities to enhance agricultural and manufacturing growth
  • Stronger efforts at health education and skill development
  • Reforming the implementation of flagship programs
  • Special challenges focused on vulnerable groups and back ward sections.

She explained the areas of five year plan regarding –water, Agriculture and Rural Development, industry, Education and Skill Development. In water management must map all aquifers over next five years to facilitate aquifer management plans, AIBP is restructured to incentivize irrigation reform and efficiency of resource use. Higher priority to watershed management. In the industrial sector growth in 11th Plan is in 8% ballpark. . Need to grow at 11-12% per year to create 2 million additional jobs per year. Tune-up FDI(Foreign direct investment)  and trade policies to attract quality investment. Create large employment and Deepen technological capabilities. In education and skill development  Must aim at universalisation of secondary education by 2017, raising the Gross Enrolment Ratio, on quality of education and Development and operationalisation of PPP(Public private –partnership) models in School and Higher Education.

The presentation20130201_145244 on the areas of health,energy,transport infrastructure, Managing Urbanization was done by Mr. Deepak V. He spotted out that the new five year plan  expenditure on health by Centre and States to increase from 1.3% of GDP to at least 2.0%, and perhaps 2.5% of GDP by end of 12th Plan and increase seats in medical colleges, nursing colleges and other licensed health profession. Improve quality of NRHM services, Role of PPP in secondary and tertiary healthcare must be expanded and more focus on women and children. Energy pricing is a major issue. Commercial energy demand will increase at 7% p.a. if GDP grows at 9%.In power sector We must set a target of 100,000 MW capacity in 12th Plan. In coal production we will need to import 250 million tones in 2017-18. Nuclear power programme must continue with necessary safety review.In transport infrastructure Railways’ Western and Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFC) must be completed by the end of the Twelfth Plan. High Speed Rail link between Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata in the Twelfth Five Year Plan. Improve bus services/public transport in smaller cities, towns and districts.He marked out thatIndia’s urban population is expected to increase from 400 million in 2011 to about 600 million or more by 2030.Critical challenges are basic urban services especially for the poor: water, sewerage, sanitation, solid waste management, affordable housing, public transport and need to develop and propagate innovative ways of municipal financing, through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

Discussion

An open discussion and clarification  regarding the presentation held after that. The panel clarified that the presentation mainly focused on the positive aspects of five year plan.They also clarified the objectives of AIBP and the agriculture mainly focused on rain.So the need of artificial irrigation schemes. They also explained thedifference of quality and quantity education that the quality education mainly focused on infrastructure ,facultiesetc. where quantity wise mainly focused on the increase the no of schools .

Critical comments shared during the session were

  • The relevance of sustainable development in coal mining and that no provisions for education to tribal communities in this five year plan  was mentioned by Mr. Vishnu K Santhosh(s4msw)
  • In health sector GDP has reduced than that in 11th five year planned in the areas of mental health and malnutrition has not given any importance in 12th five year plan and total allocation for all social protection activities is only 5% where WHO recommendation for health is 5% was mentioned by Ms. Parvathy V (s4 msw)
  • Of the 4% GDP for agriculture  of 11th five plan , only 2.9% is achieved. Most of the funds remain unspent .The funds allocated for training and research are not properly utilized  was mentioned by Ms. Arathy B(s4msw).
  • Ms. Shilpa (s4msw) mentioned that for urban development govt failed to count the poor, face the poor and governing the poor.
  • Ms. Anitha mentioned that there is no much provisions for primary and tertiary sectors of health
  • Ms. Fathima mentioned that FDI should focus on social sectors and PPP should be affordable to poor of the society
  • Ms. Sandhya mentioned that 12th five tear plan has not given much importance to the problem of water scarcity.

Dr Renjith R Pillai (HOD. Dept. of Social Work) commented that Govt is investing less in training and research and the five plan is not given any priority to mental health care.

The seminar was concluded by Mr Ranjith Kavumkara . He told that, thogh GDP can be considered as a measurement of growth, we don’t have any mechanism to measure the inclusiveness and sustainability. Planning Commission is not showing any interest towards HDI Scale or GINI coefficient. As Social Workers we have to do a lot in order to make the development process of the country more sustainable and inclusive.

Report by Supriya Rajappan

Photo: Arun