How to help Indians who are overwhelmed by natural disasters

Natural disasters happen all over the world almost every day because of the nature of Earth’s climate and natural environment. However, some areas of the world are disproportionately affected by natural disasters. According to research compiled and published by leading think tanks and research institutions, India is one of those areas of the world that are disproportionately affected by natural disasters. This article discusses why this is the case, and the steps being taken to assist people in India who are adversely affected by natural disasters.

According to a report recently published in Forbes magazine which analyzed all aspects of natural disasters in India, threats from earthquakes, severe storms, and flooding is especially acute in India. The sections of the population that are affected the most adversely are the poor and they face longer recovery times because of political instability, corruption, and lack of financial and other resources, and infrastructure to facilitate rebuilding and recovery. In India, approximately 81% of the nearly 1.4 billion people living in the nation are vulnerable to damage from natural disasters.

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The Indian government has taken initiative by passing various initiatives, and by setting up many programs to help those negatively affected by natural disasters. For example, the Indian government in 2005 passed the Disaster management act to deal with these disasters and to help people affected by these disasters. Three bodies currently exist at the national level in India to deal with the negative effects of natural disasters. They are the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM).

The NDMA is the body which has issued many guidelines, plans, and documents with a reactive approach and response to mitigate the impact of natural disasters, and to help those affected by them. The drawback is while these measures are effective in terms of formulating policy, those affected by natural disasters see very few benefits from them at the ground level. The NDRF on the other hand deals with helping those affected by natural disasters at the ground level, and its work has been very effective and much appreciated. NDRF response areas are located at 12 strategic places across the nation and are well equipped to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters in very little time.

Many non governmental organizations (NGOs) are also taking a proactive response in terms of helping people affected by natural disasters at the ground level. One such NGO is World Vision. This NGO helps all children affected by natural disasters. It has been operating in India for 65 years and works in 185 districts which cover 26 lakh children and their families across India. World Vision works at the grass roots level with these children, their families, and communities to address the issues of water, health, sanitation, water, hygiene, education, child protection, climate change, gender, disability, and humanitarian emergencies. World Vision works in conjunction with various state and regional governments, donors, corporations, and with society in general.

This NGO helps the affected through Area Development Programs (ADPs) which works with people in a particular geographic area in the long-term to ensure that they are completely rehabilitated from the impact of the natural disaster(s). They assess the situation in any affected area to understand what has already been accomplished in terms of rehabilitation efforts, what more needs to be done to ensure that the inhabitants are completely rehabilitated, and what can be accomplished in terms of rehabilitation through collaboration. World Vision then establishes various programs, and works with existing programs to improve the children’s and their families’ access to nutrition, health care, clean water, adequate sanitation, and quality education to ensure that their overall livelihood is improved.

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