Voices: Unreached & Unheard

The Hindustan Times report here & also a report from the field from  can be recalled here. Field Report The field report of the group (of which Ms. Medha Patkar was a member) report dated 03/09/08 is eerily prophetic in terms of predicting the situation that still prevailed after several days. The HT report dated 11/09/08 validates the above, focuses on the human emotions that are expressed when rescue is delayed by upto 25 days, a time period that reeks of official apathy and lack of co-ordination on the ground. While strong currents and lack of rescue equipment are blamed in some areas, the inability to gain feedback from survivors and the gross negligence due to lack of flexible planning has led to some areas being ignored without proper evaluation. Disaster rescue efforts if co-ordinated with up to the moment knowledge gained from recent evacuees may prove helpful in pin pointing areas in dire need of help. Also use of local guides, know how can  prevent accidents and loss of life due to collision with submerged structures. The need of the hour seems to be the ability to gain, process and utilize geo-sensitive information regarding survivors, viable transport routes, food supplies & people still in need. The current lack or bottleneck with regard to this caused by a top-down management of the disaster might end up in producing others. The wounds from the Kosi may heal with prompt action and a helping hand till the survivors are back on their feet. As field report enthuses in closing, the voice of the populace will play a crucial role in shaping the quality of life of the survivors.

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