JNU organizes Community Resilience Workshop in West Bengal

The transdisciplinary pursuit of Disaster Research Programme (DRP), JNU has organized a four-day workshop on “community resilience and institutional preparedness” in Kolkata, West Bengal on the 30th and 31st to 2nd in the Sundarbans.

The workshop marked a large number of administrators, academicians, scholars discussing issues related to community resilience in Sundarbans which is identified as a fragile ecosystem.The workshop was inaugurated by Javed Ahmed Khan, Minister of West Bengal for Disaster Management and further disseminations were carried out by Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary.

West Bengal State Disaster Management Authority delivered the welcome address followed by key note addresses from AnilK.Sinha, Vice Chairman, Bihar State Disaster Management Authority, Prof. Santosh Kumar, Director NIDM.

Prof. Amita Singh the principal investigator of the disaster research programme and Chairperson Law and Governance summarized the framework within which the workshop is planned with administrators and academia experts.

The four day workshop on community resilience aimed to understand community resilience of the people in the newly declared Sundarban district.

The deliberations began with Javed Ahmed Khan, Minister of West Bengal Disaster Management emphasising on preparedness. The state of West Bengal has institutionalized early warning systems which is run by a very dedicated team of leaders both at the state and district level.

Suresh kumar, Principal secretary of West Bengal who highlighted issues related to Preventive Measures and early earning system and learn the best practices of progressing towards the creation of disaster risk reduction. He spoke on installation of seismograph which is imperative and pre monsoon studies which should be conducted.

Anil Kumar Sinha Vice Chairman Bihar SDMA: opened the discussion on Community Resilience and institutional preparedness by bring up the complexity of the definition of “Disaster” as to be open ended. The points are listed in brief.

Prof. Santosh Kumar Director SAARC, Chairperson NIDM spoke on volume of loss that causes socio-economic losses and how schools and colleges should be focused upon for the training.

Dr Sunita Reddy, Core Research member DRP, Associate Professor JNU highlighted community level people who are the first responders should be well equipped with skills, knowledge and information through state and district level initiatives.

The brainstorming session on community resilience brought into light copious issues like salinity, embankment construction in Sundarbans creating second generation problems, disruption caused in Flora and Fauna.

Dr Jiban Chandra Chakraborty, additional secretary Transport Department, Senthil Kumar, Prof. PK Joshi, Anurag Danda, WWF covered the environmental aspects and the challenges faced during the previous years.

The issues, good practices, research ideas, past field experiences have been shared on a common ground leading to structuring a framework and understanding the challenges that will be realized to conduct studies in the five areas of research – State and institution, Vulnerable groups, household level survey and livelihood issues, utilization of information and communication technology, environmental changes and indigenous knowledge.

From Jawaharlal Nehru University, Prof Bupinder Zutshi, Prof Mondira Dutta, Prof Milap Poonia, Dr Sanjeev Kumar, Dr Nivedita Haran, Retd, IAS were present.

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