SAARC Regional Training Program concludes at KU

Srinagar: Appreciating the University of Kashmir for introducing PG Diploma in Disaster Management and subsequently upgrading it to masters level Director SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC), New Delhi Prof Santosh Kumar today termed the introduction of the program at KU as “a welcome development, a role model and an answer to the ever increasing need of professional human resource in disaster management at district, state, national and regional level.”

Prof Kumar who was chief guest at the valedictory function of a seven-day ‘SAARC Regional Training Program on, Children Safety including Children with Special Needs in South Asia’, organised by SDMC New Delhi in collaboration with Dept of Geography & Regional Development KU said “The way this University has launched diploma in Disaster Management and upgraded it to masters level now is a glowing example for other universities and institutions of SAARC member countries who can replicate the same program so as to groom a pool of professionals whose experience, training and skill could be used while negotiating disasters and natural calamities.”

He added “South Asia in particular is most vulnerable to disasters and natural calamities and almost all SAARC nations are facing a huge difficulty in getting professionally trained people to fill-in the gaps and positions of officers, officials and other man-power at the level of District Disaster Management Authority, State Disaster Management Authority and at various other organizational and institutional levels. However, I am sure that the students at KU who are pursuing this program would fill those gaps in future which also indicate that these students have job opportunities.”

Prof Kumar said that it was very encouraging to know that the University of Kashmir is playing a leading role in disaster management and disaster risk reduction by providing an opportunity to its research scholars and scientists to undertake various studies on the vulnerability of Himalayan region to disasters, climatic change and dynamics of ecosystem.

Prof Kumar added that such training programs help in tapping national and international experiences and the recommendations of this seven-day training program would be forwarded to the authorities in NDMA and other concerned people in New Delhi so that a robust policy planning is made effective at grass root level which will help in minimizing the loss of life and property caused by disasters like earthquakes, floods and cyclones.

In his presidential address acting Vice Chancellor KU Prof MA Sofi said that despite huge strides made by mankind in the field of science and technology prediction of natural disasters and calamities even minutes before their occurrence continues to pose challenge to the scientists and is one such area which should be given priority in research to get the desires results.

“So far we have not been able to predict the disasters, however such training programs can provide a better insight into the overall scheme of things and help us and our society in understanding what to do and what not when a disaster or a natural calamity strikes so that necessary precautions could be taken to avoid loss of life,” said Prof Sofi.

Prof Sofi added that there is need to strictly enforce legislated laws to check unregulated and illegal construction practices which if left unresolved and unaddressed can have devastating consequences for an eco-logically fragile area like Kashmir.

Prof Sofi said that the theme of the seven-day training program was very relevant as it is the disabled children or those with disabilities who form the most vulnerable section of society whenever a disaster strikes and “the aim of such programs should be to evolve strategies and impart such type of training to rescue teams, disaster management professionals and common people which would provide some safeguard to these children.”

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