New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) With an aim of making a paradigm shift towards disaster preparedness, and becoming proactive in this area, the National Alliance of Disaster Risk Reduction was launched here today.
Realising that there was an unmet need due to inadequate mechanisms for the most acutely affected by disasters particularly the poor and women, the alliance felt the need for a common platform to bridge this gap.
Mobilising communities countrywide would ensure better preparedness and resilience in the face of increasing climatic stress and vulnerabilities in the context of poverty, it said.
Vinod Menon, Member of The National disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the apex government agency for disaster management chaired by Prime Minister, claimed the alliance was the missing element in disaster preparedness in the country.
''NADRR will serve as a professional think tank for the government and by showcasing best practises and disaster risk reduction and models from around the world, challenge us to make initiatives possible here.
Bablu Ganguly one of the panelists who participated in the event, said there was need for shift in mindset while dealing in disaster management, respect what people already know and make it work at a higher level so that people's wisdom is scientifically validated.
Tsunami survivor Manimegalai, who help save people from her village in Tamil Nadu, said, ''The government agency needs better coordination with the village to ensure information flow so that we can prepare and respond effectively.'' Leaders from disaster affected communities and civil society networks, international humanitarian organisations and policy makers attended the two-day event called ''People, Policy and Partnerships for Disaster Resilient Development.'' The multi-stakeholder National Alliance would analyse national policies and strategies in disaster risk reduction thereby mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into development at national and local levels.
It will give priority to policy issues given recurring lessons from past disasters, all housing and infrastructure development programmes to ensure they are located in secure areas and safe 'structurally'.
Establish direct communication channels for disaster early warning and adopt pilot programmes on community level disaster risk reduction to become national initiatives.
Besides providing a platform for survivor of disasters to come centre-stage and play the championing role of policymakers to view them - not as victims - but as innovators who should be leading disaster resilient development.
The alliance of community and civil society networks, including groups like All India Disaster Matigation Institute, Knowledge Links, Action Aid, Groots International, SEEDS India and Swayam Shikshan Prayog paricipated in the meeting.