Civil society should join forces with Government for Disaster Management : Mizoram Chief Minister,

mejoram CM

New Dehli ( Sadaebharat Desk ) 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 People’s Action in Disaster Preparedness (NCPDP).

Ms. Anamika Deb Roy, Coordinator, Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research proposed the vote of thanks.

This International Conference has a galaxy of specialists across various knowledge-domains who would be deliberating issues, challenges linked to Disaster Management in the mountainous, terrain and elsewhere in the country.

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