Eventualities are always unforeseen. It is because disaster can strike anywhere anytime that the preparation for meeting the challenges thrown in the aftermath must be in a state of alert. Whenever a natural calamity strikes the consequences are very painful in terms of the loss of life and property. Though all of it can not be avoided in most of the cases because the speed with which a disaster strikes stupefies even the developed countries. But the pain can certainly be minimized. This is where the disaster management actually comes in.
Now take the case of the teenager who drowned in Jhelum a few days back. The life was lost and tragically so, but the body of the boy could not be fished out for days together. It depicts the level of preparedness that our disaster management has in case it is pressed into some duty. The report in this newspaper about the dismal state of affair in this regard should be taken very seriously as it involves life and property. True that our level of preparedness can not match to that of a developed country in the west as is often brought up as a reference point when such things happen, but it does not mean that we can completely escape responsibility. This state in last few years has seen couple of catastrophic events in the shape of earthquake, snowstorm, and cloudburst – every time we were found wanting in the necessary equipment and human resource to meet the scale of disaster. This was enough a reason that he things should have moved at a good speed to meet future eventualities. But it seems that the sense of urgency is still missing.
Disciplinary knowledge of geography makes us believe that Kashmir is a disaster prone region. A whole range of geo-physical hazards affect thousands of people across the state every now and then leaving behind heavy loss of lives, property and livelihood. The loss in the wake of disasters outweighs the developmental gains. The economic and social costs on account of losses caused by natural disasters continue to mount year after year as disasters happen without warning. This has, over a period of time attained a pattern. So in this regard management of disasters requires a multidisciplinary approach and needs skills and capabilities ample enough to effectively deal with the consequences of disaster in a holistic manner. There is an urgent need to raise general awareness levels of the people as also organise meaningful training for professionals who can play a pro-active role in disaster management program. The main focus of these programs should be to provide sufficient theoretical knowledge about disaster management besides practical skills to deal with any contingency. But all this can happen once the importance of the thing called disaster management is realized.
Further we should expand the area of concern for disaster management. Quite often we now witness fatal accidents on our roads, particularly the Highway. We should have a mobile first aid service available at multiple points on our main roads so that lives can be saved by timely intervention. Similarly our tourist spots can throw such challenges in times when people in huge numbers visit them. It is to be taken care of that we have required emergency care in place on all such places. In the same line of logic we have some hilly terrains where road accidents happen quite regularly and we lose many lives. There too the timely medical intervention is missing.
This way emergency services and disaster management have a wider role to play. If timely activism is shown many lives can be saved and the pain can be mitigated significantly. All we need to do is to get going well before disaster strikes.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 31 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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