Day Long Training On “Rights Protection, Accountability and Disaster Risk Reduction” Held

Port Blair, March 14: A day long training on “Rights Protection, Accountability and Disaster Risk Reduction” was organised today at Hotel Megapode Nest Resort by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in association with Directorate of Disaster Management, A&N Administration and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute. The workshop is the third of its kind as it was felt after prolonged deliberation that there is a need to protect the rights of disaster stricken members during such emergency situations.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion the chief guest, Retired Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Chairman NHRC said that the training in A&N Islands being the third in the series after West Bengal and Tamilnadu is a community driven approach to promote and protect human rights during natural and man-made disasters and to ensure accountability during response after disasters. Disaster Management is an important matter and every Administration should take keen interest for its implementation in the right earnest, he added.

The NHRC Chairman further said that Disaster Management is an important area also because of the growing academic and policy interest it has been receiving. Disaster poses critical challenges, which calls for better strategies to meet the challenges. Besides there is also need for good governance policy for protection of Human Rights, he added.

Referring to the role of women in post disaster situation, the NHRC Chairman said women continues to discharge her duties with affection even in difficult situation in the aftermath of disaster and she should be given her due right and adequate protection. Disaster management adds new dimension to the existing strategies of response, relief and rehabilitation. Right based approach is considered to be more and more useful and people deserve it, the NHRC Chairman said. Adding that Human Rights framework provides important legal tools and mechanism through institutional structures, the Chairman also expressed that it is the duty of the concerned State or Administration to protect the property of the people during disaster situation.

In his opening remarks, the Chief Secretary, A&N Administration, Shri Anand Prakash, thanked Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Chairman NHRC for coming all the way to the Islands to guide and encourage the officials about better implementation of disaster management. A&N islands are prone to natural calamities and the 2004 tsunami caused lot of devastation in these islands, the Chief Secretary said adding that during vulnerable times it must be ensured that the rights of the affected are protected. Anand Prakash further said that the agencies dealing with the Disaster Management should take note of it that the vulnerable sections of the society should be given more attention post disaster situation.

In her address on the occasion, the Commissioner-cum-Secretary (DM&RR), Smt. Punya Salila Srivastava said after the devastating tsunami 2004 the Administration and the people of these islands have been working towards disaster preparedness. As part of the preparedness the Administration has set up better communication network, State Control Room, Emergency Operation Centre, prepared Disaster Management Plan & SOPs besides mock drills are being conducted in regular intervals throughout the islands. The Commissioner-cum-Secretary (DM&RR) also welcomed the chief guest and others present on the occasion.

The daylong training dealt in depth about National Human Rights Commission, Rights in Natural Disaster and Community based Emergency Response Systems and Protection. The training was attended by various govt. institutions and NGOs working in the Islands.  

Training was imparted by Ms Vandana Chauhan from All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), Shri Jaideep Singh Kochher, Jt. Secretary (Training), NHRC, Smti Naghma Firdaus, Senior Specialist, CBDRM, NDMA and was coordinated by Shri Ashok Sharma from the Directorate of Disaster Management, A&N Administration.