“Worrying about the past or the future isn’t productive. When you start chastising yourself for past mistakes or seeing disaster around every corner, stop and take a breath and ask yourself what you can do right now to succeed.” — Harvey Mackay.
“Disaster means catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or man-made causes, or by accident or negligence which result in substantial loss of life, of human suffering, destruction of property, or damage to, or degradation of environment, and is of such nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of affected areas.”
According to the statistics, 68 per cent of India’s land is prone to drought, 60 per cent to earthquakes, 12 per cent to floods and 8 per cent to cyclones, making India one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, affecting overall 85 per cent of Indian land and more than 50 million people.
Disaster management is the regulation of dealing with and avoiding risks. It involves preparing for a disaster before it happens. Disaster management is yet to be seen as an essential part of good governance and integral to development planning. It occupies an important place in India’s policy structure as it is poor and the underprivileged who are worst affected on account of calamities/disasters.
Every year, we experience some natural disaster but we have no strategy to alleviate its effects. Natural disasters are no doubt, beyond human control. It is observed that from the natural calamities happening, we haven’t learned any lessons. Damage to the ecology wreaked by deforestation and construction of dams has been the core cause of such a massive disaster. India is becoming a breeding ground for natural calamities and it is high time that we formulated some plans to go green in the country by reducing mounting pollutants.
We all know that disasters are not an exodus from the normal functioning of societies. Rather, they often illustrate the model and aggravate the potential of a perilous event. Understanding the complexity characteristics of any given disaster management catchment and devising institutional cultures to counter them is the key to building effective institutions.
Disaster Management is an effort to inquire into the process of a hazard turning to disaster to identify its causes and rectify the same through public policy. It is a policy issue concerned with minimising and preventing the damaging impact of a natural or man-made hazard.
Business interruptions can occur anywhere and at anytime. It is impossible to predict what may strike when and therefore, it has become binding to prepare for such disaster scenarios. Disaster risk management is critical, if couched, factor in the daily decision-making. A variety of risk financing and other financial tools have been developed to facilitate the management of risks. A disaster disrupts business activities on which the local population depends, affecting livelihood recovery and means to earn a living. This is particularly true when new skills are needed for new types of jobs.
Stout financing tools can help the poor to break the poverty cycle by protecting their development gains, reducing impacts and losses of disaster shocks.
It is observed that risks from injury, sickness or disaster are a critical dimension of poverty and can easily threaten the small savings and fragile livelihoods of poor families.
Further, disasters are not departures from the normal functioning of societies. Rather, they often exemplify the norm and exacerbate the potential of a hazardous event. Understanding the patterns in human social dynamics in any given region is, therefore, an important key to building effective institutions.
(This is the first part of the Diary and the latter part will continue tomorrow.)
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)