Integrate disability in disaster management: Experts

A two-day national workshop aimed to offer safety lessons to differently-abled persons in the event of a disaster

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 18 July 2019
Photo: Getty Images

There is an urgent need to identify gaps in the implementation of government schemes and programmes for the disabled in the event of a disaster, said experts at a recent workshop held in Gujarat.

The two-day national workshop themed “Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Management in India” was organised jointly by the Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies and National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) from July 11, 2019.

It highlighted the need to incorporate the issue of disability in disaster management.

The need is to visualise disability inclusive disaster risk management related issue from rights-based (human rights) perspective, said MH Shah, chairperson of gujarat state human rights commission, in a release.  

The experts also pinpointed certain lapses in regard to implementation of government plans and schemes related to disability in disaster management

Government organisations are lackadaisical in implementing the "Accessible India Campaign" (one of the flagship schemes of Modi Government) so as to make public building completely barrier-free for persons with disabilities, said GN Karna, an expert on disability studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The experts also adopted a five-point charter of demands and recommendations:

  • Instituting an advisory council on disability as a think-tank in the Prime Minister’s Office,
  • Setting up a division/cell on disability management as part of NIMD,
  • Incorporation of the issues related to disability-inclusive disaster risk management in the curricula of the subjects of disaster management and disability studies being offered by universities and higher education institutions of the country,
  • Promotion of research and development activities in National Disaster Management Authority, NIDM, Department of Science and Technology, Defence Research and Development Organisation and Indian Space Research Organisation, and
  • Involvement of persons with disabilities in formulation of plans/schemes related to disaster management for persons with disabilities.

The workshop was attended by differently abled persons, experts and scientists from various parts of the country.

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