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Experts call for community involvement in disaster management

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Srinagar: A seven-day workshop on earthquake risk mitigation and management concluded at the University of Kashmir on Friday.

The workshop was organised by the Department of Geography and Disaster Management in collaboration with the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM).

Nazim Zia Khan, Secretary to Government, Department of Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation, was the Chief Guest at the valedictory session, where Dean Academics Prof Farooq A Masoodi was a guest of honour.

In his presidential address, Khan called for “community involvement” in disaster management, asserting that everyone in society must know what to do when a disaster strikes. “Today everyone has to act as his/her own first responder in times of a disaster,” he said, adding that alertness and awareness can go a long way in leading us to create a disaster-conscious citizenry.

Khan also talked about the ‘Apda Mitra’ scheme that aims to make the community a part of disaster management initiatives. He appreciated the University of Kashmir for playing a key role in raising awareness on disaster management and assured full support of the DDMRR for holding a bigger conclave on disaster management in the future.

Dean Academic Affairs Prof Masoodi called for a multi-pronged strategy to address different dimensions of disaster management, including the psychological trauma that disasters bring in their wake. He complimented the Department of Geography for organising the important programme.

Prof Parvez Ahmad, Head of the Department, gave an overview of eight technical sessions held during the five-day deliberations, besides a field trip organised for the participants to the Uri area of Baramulla district which was worst affected by the 2005 earthquake. Prof Pervez said 13 lead lectures were delivered by eminent scientists and experts on varied aspects of disaster management.

Dr Amir Ali Khan from NIDM, Co-Convener of the Programme, said the present workshop has enriched the understanding of participants about disaster management.

“This is just the beginning and we intend to hold more such workshops in the future,” he said.

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