Home » Subject » Essay » Natural Disasters , the govt. should be ready with the relief operations rather than declaring relief funds - Discuss?

Natural disasters, may be considered as an 'Act of God'. At the same time, what is relevant to ponder about is that these natural disaster's mitigation should be led by human endeavour which should be marked by a state sponsored disaster management system. In this way on the one hand natural disaster's may be considered as an 'Act of God' where as on the other hand its mitigation is more of an Government sponsored 'Act of State'. Thus nature inflicted disasters should be coped with Govt. sponsored disaster response mechanism.

The horizon of nature and natural environment is boundless. On the other hand, our disaster response mechanism runs on Government finance which has certain bounds. It is in this light, we need to discuss the fact whether in case of natural disasters, the govt. should be ready with the relief operations rather than declaring relief funds. It is so because in our Indian system of governance which is on a shift from Nehruvian - Gandhian model of 'Welfare Administration' to that of 'Development Administration' which is more predominant by the fact of liberalization. privatization and globalization. In this new model of 'Development Administration' the predominant or pivotal factor of development is not human capital only but on comprehensively and judiciously articulated disaster response mechanism in case of any form of disasters including natural disasters.

Our journey with 'Development Administration' will come to a permanent halt provided we do not have a rational disaster management mechanism. In case of disasters including natural disasters government's role with relief operations will be like a 'friend in need is a friend in deed' for the distressed people of natural disasters. On the other hand, if we only declare relief funds after everything is lost will be like that of providing 'Aspirin in Cancer'. It is in this light we need to have a focused and reliable government sponsored disaster management response force. Our disaster management effort should not only be marked by aerial survey of politicians like that mostly seen in our country but should also be marked by a spirit of state sponsored 'humane approach'.

The Government of India enacted the National Disaster Management Act in November 2015, which brings about a paradigm shift in India's approach to disaster management. The Act shift its emphasis from relief and response centric approach to that of preparedness, prevention and planning approach The Act provides a three tier authority namely – National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), and District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA). These three tier structure should have more of a coordination-centric approach rather than three-tier division of Disaster Management responsibilities. This is so because, it is only when we will have a better coordination and understanding with regard to disaster mitigation then only we will be able to cope with the boundless challenges of nature and natural environment. In this endeavour, the greatest gainer will be our countrymen and these gains will be monitored and guided by our own government. In this way if we properly harmonize and coordinate our resources the day is not far when we will, if not fully control, but will certainly have a firm grip over nature's fury. This will lead to a large extent to a victory of Government sponsored 'Act of State' over nature sponsored 'Act of God'.

Jnandeep Bora

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