(Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation) – Calamity Response:
On 9th June 1998 costal of Kutch and Saurashtra witnessed one of the most disastrous Cyclones of the last two decades. People, social activists and non-governmental organizations formed “a people’s coalition for cyclone rehabilitation and reconstruction”. It was deiced to launch a Gujarati fortnightly named “Vavazodu” giving basic first hand information, related news, unfocussed information, real story of the plight of the people and their struggle to survive and sustain. It was a useful tool to share views and experiences of various agencies working in the cyclone affected area, and it also highlighted efforts being done in field of relief and rehabilitation by government, NGOs and others. Budgetary provision was made by OXFAM for 12 issues. Raju Deepti of Jeevantirth successfully shouldered the responsibility to edit the fortnightly. His past experience to work in 1987-89 drought years was also proved useful.
Gujarat once again experienced calamity in the form of disastrous Earthquake which happened on 26th January 2001. Communal carnage, which erupted after gusty attack on train at Godhra on 27th February 2002 once again proved, that poor and vulnerable sections of the society suffer a lot in Riots, Bandhs, Strikes and Lay-offs, Atrocities or State Oppression. During 2006 flood relief work in Surat also it was felt by many that an effort should be made for mass awareness among the people for disaster preparedness by well-designed educational proggramme with special emphasis on poor vulnerable people.
The proposal is an out come of such thoughts.
Justification of the project:
In the case of a Disaster-weather it may be Natural or caused by Social Tension among various conflicting groups, poor vulnerable people are the worst victims. Normally quick relief is provided to them by the Government and various social institutions, but every time history repeats. People are left upon themselves for Rehabilitation and they are not trained how to face sudden or great misfortune so that an impact of disaster can be made less serve.
Project components: This proposal contains mainly two types of activities / components which are Interdependent –
– Awareness and training Proggramme.
– Monthly newspaper.
Project Area: About 15 village and 5 urban slums of Ahmedabad.
– Coastal Saurashtra or Dharampur – Kaparada of Valsad
– Drought prone area of Kutch and/or Banaskantha
– Flood prone area of Narmada and Tapi basin
– Slums from Ahmedabad.
(Any of the above, selection can be based on supporter’s priority.)
Project Phase: One year.
Concept: As said earlier project wants to address two types of Disaster.
– Natural calamities like drought, flood, cyclone, earthquake etc.
– Man made disaster like Eruption of Social tension in the name of cast, religion or class conflict, Demolition of slums in the case of so called unauthorized encroachment by poor people, Atrocities against mass movement for Human Right. Bunds or agitation by political parties or social organizations on burning issues etc.
Plan of Action: Peace or/& Rehabilitation Brigade will be formed in the entire village or urban slums made up of active, secular local leaders and youths. Along with general awareness proggramme special camps will be conducted for local youths. They will be trained about the art of diffusing social tension, disaster preparedness and mitigation and about the science of weather and climate. With the help of Group Dynamic Techniques and the process like Participatory Strategic Planning basic awareness will be created for disaster mitigation. Monthly Newspaper will provide useful information in an entertaining way with the help of stories, poems, cartoons, posters, small project and survey etc. Detailed action plan can be chalked out depending upon local requirement.