Srinagar: Vice-Chancellor University of Kashmir Prof Talat Ahmad on Monday inaugurated a week-long training programme in disaster management.
The programme titled “Multi-Hazard Risk Management in Changing Climate: Sustaining Economic Development and Livelihood in Western Himalaya” has been organised by the varsity’s Department of Geography and Disaster Management (DGDM) in collaboration with National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
In his presidential address, Prof Talat said the Himalayas, compared to other parts of the country, are more vulnerable to various types of disasters.
He said it is important to hold field trips for students of disaster management to facilitate their grassroots learning and understanding of various disasters and their causes.
“Disaster management is a multi-disciplinary subject which involves a host of critical areas, including social sciences, geology and seismology etc. It is therefore important for students to spend time in the field to understand various aspects of disaster management for better mitigation and preparedness,” he said.
Prof Anil Kumar Gupta from NIDM said the subject of disaster management is directly related with the society, with saving the lives of people in times of disasters.
“With such sensitisation programmes, if we are able to reduce the risk by even one percent or two percent, we will deem our endeavors as successful,” he said.
Head DGDM Prof Shamim Ahmad Shah referred to the launch of disaster management courses in the University of Kashmir.
“This part of the Himalayas is more prone to disasters and there is a larger role of academia and other stakeholders on the ground to sensitise people and try to mitigate the impact of disasters,” he said.
Professor Pervez Ahmed from DGDM said the training programme has been conceptualised in the backdrop of the vulnerability of the people living in the entire Himalayan belt to different types of disasters.
“The natural causes have been accentuated by anthropogenic factors as a result of which properties and lives of millions of people in the fragile area have become more vulnerable in the past few decades,” he said.
Apart from some top administrative officers, more than 70 senior officials from different departments of J&K including Revenue, Social Welfare, Health, DM&RRR, Fire and Emergency Service, Civil Defence and Forests are participating in the training programme.
Prof Pervez said in April next year, an MoU between the University of Kashmir and NIDM will be signed to further enhance the capacity-building of officials and students apart from launching of various national-level courses in disaster management.