Discrimination in disaster report in four districts of Odisha

July 24, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Odisha, July 24, 2016: Social sensitivity has to be strengthened when discrimination in any form and degree in society is addressed, said Aurovindo Behera, former drafting commissioner of Odisha Relieve Code, Government of Odisha.

He was addressing a gathering at a “study report release on Discrimination during Disasters” at Red Cross Bhawan, Bhubaneswar, organized by the Odisha Forum for Social Action (OFSA) which is a network of faith based organizations and other civil society organisations of Odisha based in Bhubaneswar.

It is necessary that as a part of social engineering all people have to tackle the issue of discrimination in society to make it healthy one, Behera stressed.

Discrimination prevails in all parts of life of excluded communities of Odisha. It is even seen during disasters response programs initiated by Government and other civil society organisations. Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Communities are treated badly in temporary shelters, distributed low quantity of relief material, early warnings are not provided and some of the families are asked to bribe for enlisting them in government list for house damage compensation, said Ajay Kumar Singh, Director of OFSA.

He added that civil society organizations are found to remain neutral to the issues of discrimination during disasters response programs. Government Policies related to disaster response too are blind towards discrimination in disaster response. Odisha Relief Code, National Disaster Management Act-2005, Odisha Disaster Management Plan-2013 are among them.

Realizing the above situation, Odisha Forum for Social Action has conducted “A Study on Discrimination during Disasters”. The study was conducted in four districts—Kandhamal, Mayurbhanj, Balsore and Ganjam covering 22 hundreds households. The purpose of the study was to influence the government to amend existing policies to address discriminations at all level especially during disasters.

The Study reveals following key areas of concerns during disaster situation: majority of the SC and ST families (above 80 percent) are living in thatched houses/huts/asbestos roof with or without mud walls in Mayurbhanj, Balasore and Kandhamal districts. More than 50 percent of SC and ST households do not own land. Majority of SC households (78 percent) in Kandhamal and ST households (79 percent) in Balasore depend on their daily wage for livelihood. 36 percent of SC, 29 percent of ST and 22 percent of General category houses were completely damaged in Phailin.

Large number of houses (SCs-82 percent, STs-87 percent GCs-96 percent) in Kandhamal was partially damaged. In Ganjam District 44 percent of the SC and 56 percent of General category houses were partially damaged.

Scheduled Caste families – 45 percent households in Ganjam, 46 per cent in Kandhamal and 43 per cent in Mayurbhanj left out in government assessment. Scheduled Tribes Households families – 52 percent in Kandhamal, 42 percent in Mayurbhanj and 38 per cent in Balasore were identified as left out in the original list by the present study. 20 percent of the General category received a compensation of Rs. 15,000/- and above each but only a negligible number of SC and ST households received this package.

The study indicates that more than half of the households did not receive early warnings. It is this early warning that will make the people to prepare themselves to face eventualities.

Only 61 percent of Scheduled Caste, 53 percent of Scheduled Tribe and 70 percent of General category households from all the four districts of the study areas are evacuated by the government before Phailin hit landfall.

A total of 61 percent SC, 68 percent ST and 67 percent General households took shelter in cyclone shelter homes in the study areas. 26 percent of SC families in Ganjam district could not take shelter in such shelter homes.

Only 33 percent of Scheduled tribes and 43 per cent of Scheduled Castes families in Kandhamal district had access to safe drinking water.

No one including those in the general category in Kandhamal district received medicine-health support during/after the Phailin cyclone.

In Ganjam district, just 13 per cent of Scheduled Caste households received medicine while 57 percent of General category households availed required medicines.

In Kandhamal and Mayurbhanj districts, none of the affected households received sanitary kits and In Balasore district only 8 percent of Scheduled Tribe households received sanitary kits compared to 22 percent in the General category.

The study recommended following action points to the Government for taking immediate actions.

The DDMA, through the support and cooperation of the PRIs, has to ensure that warning and communication systems are in working condition in every village.

The government has to take all required steps to implement the Land Ceiling Act to ensure that landless labourers own a piece of land for their living as well as livelihood. The State Government should consciously utilize funds under special component plans for its earmarked purpose.

PRIs should make sure that all the affected households in disaster-hit areas are included in the list prepared for relief and rehabilitation measures.

Most of the houses in Ganjam District are located within 500 metres of the sea coast. As per the Coastal Regulation Act of India the living area along the coast should be located at least 500 metres away from the sea coast and hence the Government has to initiate serious steps to relocate the households which are located within 500 metres distance from the sea coast in Ganjam district.

More than half the households in the study area are living in low-lying area in thatched/huts with mud walls which are prone to high damage during disasters. Therefore, the State Government has to accord priority in housing projects to households prone to disasters so as to get them relocated in a safe location with disaster resistant houses.

The government and financial institutions should provide financial assistance to needy households for constructing disaster-resistant low cost houses.

Government should initiate different viable area-specific alternative livelihoods for disaster-prone communities belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities. Special schemes could be introduced to earn an income to support their families even during disasters. The Funds could be mobilised from Scheduled Caste Sub Component Plan and Tribal Sub Plan.

Other dignitaries who spoke on the occasion include Paul Divakar, convenor of Asia Dalit Rights Forum, New Delhi; Dhirendra Panda, director of Centre for the Sustainable use of Natural and Social Resources; and galazy of other social activists. More than 100 people attended the workshop.

– matters india

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Comments

One Response to “Discrimination in disaster report in four districts of Odisha”
  1. SHASHI MINZ says:

    we have the best of people heading the panel and the worst who are not sensitive enough to the social needs manning the comissions in delhi . what can be done without any teeth , what has the comission of women and child wefare achieved so far except publish their annual reports and make presentations in flower bedecked confines of the vigyaan bhawan only for the elite . like our present regime let us go down to the grass roots and lay down our red carpet to all the artisans and the sculptors of yore who built he qurub minar for us the wonder of wonders . it is our own hands whose genes we hAVE inherited today shall carry out the banner whether it is the olympics or the asian games . it is hearteninnig to see the patronage given by the son of the great showma amitabh bachhan give his time to encourage the kabaadi games in the farflung villages of india . this shall not only give healthy competition to the youth in our schools who due tolack of proper education in maths and english reach up to only the 10th standard . what shall india do wuith this group of people who are below the age group of 25 ? skills to utilise them in labour of the feild equipment as in china , mechanical farming aS IS SEEN IN THE ARICUTURAL TRAING INSTITUTES RUN BY THE JESUITS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY SIDE AND ALSO THE DON BOSCO PRIESTS IN GUWAHATI , ORISSA RANCHI AND BANGALORE .WE ARE INDEED BLESSED BY A GENERATION OF GOOD ACTORS AND SINGERS WHO ARE CAPABLE TO PUT UP THEIR OWN THEATRE GROUPS AS DEED SHAKESPEARE IN HIS TIMES IN ENGLAND —OPEN AT-RE THEATRES AND OFCOUSE BRING AWARENESS TO THE MULTITUDE TEEMING AND HUNGERING FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUSTICE . THE LACE SCHOOL IN URSULINE COVENT AND KUNKURI IN JASHPUR OF CHATTISGARH STLL BOAST OF THE FINEST EMBROUDERY AND LACE WORK LEARNT BY OUR ORAOAN ANNCESTORES LEARNT FROM THE GENERATION OF NUNS AND PRIESTS FROM BELGIUM AND FRANCE AND BAVARIA .WHY CANT WE IN THESE TIMES BE LIKE THE SISTER OF PUNE SR NOELINE WHO HAD FRENCH DONORS FOR THE MACHINES WHICH HELPED IN REHABILATING WOMEN LURED INTO THE FLESH TRADE AND THEN THROWN OUT FROM THE HOMES OF MILLIIONARES WHEN FOUND TO BE PREGNANT ; GOD BLESS THE OFFSPRINGS OF SUCH A GENERATION OF SINGLE MOTHERS . EACH DIOCESE IN THIS COUNTRY HAS ITS OWN SAD STORY TO RELATE AND THE PEOPLE WITH TREMENDOUS WEALTH AND CLOUT ARE ALLOWED TO ESCAPE FROM THE COUNTRY TO ESCAPE THE LONG HANDS OF LAW . EVEN JOURNALISTIC ABILITIES CAN CAN BE EASILY DEVELOPED IN THE VERNACULAR AND ENGLISH BY OUR TEACHERS AS EARLY AS THE SCHOOLS IN THE URSULINES ST ANNES AND ST JOSEPHS AND ST JOHNS AND ST ALOYSIUS OF RANCHI BANGALORE AND MANGALORE ; THE PECENTAGE OF CATHOLICS IN THESE EDUCATIONAL HUB IS A MERETWO TO THREE PERCENT WHILE THE REST OF THE SOCIETY IS ENJOYING THE BEST OF EDUCATION ;OUR SC AND ST CHILDREN HAVE TO GO TO KITTS IN BHUBANESHWAR WHERE THEY ARE BEING EXPERIMENTED UPON IN A CRUCIBLE AND HAS BECOME A FOUNT OF CONTROLLED ENVIORNMENT PROVIDING LITERACY TO ALL WITH EQUALITY OR IN GHETTOS OF ISOLATION . . WHEN SHALL WE CATER TO THE CULTURAL NEEDS OF OUR COUNTRYMEN AND AIM TO DELIVER THE BEST OF LITERACY IN THE NATIVE MOTHER TONGUE AS WELL THE HINDI AD ENGLISH LANGUAGES .. MASSES SAID IN THE VERNACULAR SHOULD HAVE AS GOOD A CHOIR AS THE ENGLISH ONES THE COUNTRY OVER . MOUNT CARMEL SCHOOL IN DELHI RUN BY DR VIJAY WILLIAM AND FAMILY BOTH IN DWARKA AND SHANTINIKETAN DELHI AS WELL AS RYAN INTERNATIONAL RUN BY MR AND MRS PINTO START THE DAY BY READING ALOUD THE WORD OF GOD IN THE PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM EVERY MORNING BY SIKHS MUSLIM HINDU AND PEOPLE FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS AS NO DISCRIMINATION NOR DISTINCTION IS MADE IN TERMS OF THEIR ORIGINS . A SON FROM A PROFFESSIONAL COBBLER IS SITTING WITH DIGNITY AND DINING WITH A SON WHOSE FATHER IS A MANUFACTURER OF LEATHER BAGS AND BELTS FOR THE IRON AND STEEL ONVEYOR BELTS . NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO FLASH THEIR PARENTAL ORIGINS IN THE CONFINES OF THE SCHOOL THAT IS REAL EDUCATION DEAR FRIENDS AND IS WORTHY OF EMULATION .LET US BEG FO THIS GOVERNMENT NOT TO DIVIVDE THE NATION ON THE LINES OF ONES ORIGIN BUT BRING ALL ONTO A COMMON PLATFORM AND THEN ACCORDING TO ONES OWN CAPACITY AND WILLINGNESS BECOME A CARDIOLOGIST OR A PATHOLOGIST OR A FORENSIC MEDICINE DOCTOR OR EVEN A COMPUTER ENGINEER FETCHING HIM OR HER ENOUGH SALARY TO SERVE WITH HUMAN DIGNITY AND A SALARY TO FEED HIMSELF AND OTHERS AROUND HIM . .

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