Institutionalising the effort

We are far away from institutionalising our effort to help people in distress
Institutionalising the effort
At least 22 houses were gutted and four persons were injured in a massive fire in Gata Colony in Noorbagh area of Srinagar district overnight. [File] Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Last week we had a fire incident at Noorbagh locality of Srinagar. The pictures could tell the scale of damage. Just somedays later we had another, though smaller, fire incident at Sopore.

The amount of suffering that is heaped on those who go homeless in such incidents goes without saying. On all such occasion our sympathies with the victims are intense, but then it all fades out.

Those who suffer are finally left to fend for themselves. Another standard practice here is that we appeal the authorities to help the affected.

The officials do visit the site, and also dish out assurances. Beyond that, if one has to be fair to the government, some help does trickle down. But it is never commensurate with the level of damage.

And that is understandable also, given the limitations that the concerned officials work within. The question here is that do we have some societal mechanism where we can rehabilitate such victims in a manner that is decent, respectful, and matching the needs of the affected.

To be fair to our society also, we do have people who donate money for such cause. We do have groups that work hard to help people impacted in such events.

And we have some very dedicated and professional organisations coming up now, that work in the sphere of philanthropy in an impressive way.

But all this apart, our preparations to meet such challenges is not what it ought to be. We are tentative in our efforts to help. We mobilise our resources in a chaotic way.

We are far away from institutionalising our effort to help people in such cases. If we have charity in our society, and that expresses itself on many occasions, we need to learn the latest practices of how to raise our institutions that can conduct that element of fellow feeling and philanthropy.

If we succeed in doing that, and also build functional and legally efficient connections with the relevant government departments, we can really minimise the sufferings of people who faces losses in natural or man made calamities.

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