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Survival Of The Fittest Under Disasters?

by Parvinder Singh
(Delhi, India)

The following is an abstract on
Impact of the South Asian Earthquake on Disabled People in the State of Jammu and Kashmir
Parvinder Singh, Ph.D. Candidate
Jawaharlal Nehru University

This piece is very relevant to impacts of global warming as disasters do result from this cause and will increasingly do so (Ed)

This link will take you to the full texthttp://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/
RDSv03iss03.doc

Abstract: On the morning of October 8, 2005, a devastating earthquake, measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale, struck the Kashmir region with its epicentre near Muzzafarabad in Pakistan-administrated Kashmir. It took a while for both India and Pakistan to comprehend the scale of destruction that the quake had unleashed. In the two weeks following, the quake had left over 50,000 dead on the Pakistani side of the India-Pakistan border and claimed 1,300 lives on the Indian side. A second wave of deaths was expected with the onset of the region's notorious winter.

Our thoughts immediately went to what may be happening to disabled people in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, though we knew the answer, based on our bitter experiences of seeing disabled people being neglected even in the so-called normal scenarios. Our National Disability Network partner in the mountainous and violence ravaged State confirmed our fears of the "general neglect" being compounded in the wake of this calamity.

With information gained from the Asian Tsunami and impending legislation on Disaster Management on the floor of Indian Parliament, we decided it was imperative to draw up the difficulties that disabled people face during natural disasters to facilitate some churning of our national consciousness and possibly a policy intervention. What follows is an account of a fact-finding mission, its findings and recommendations, on the impact of the Kashmir quake. It is a story of persistent neglect, which turns grave when calamities strike.

Download full text here: http://www.rds.hawaii.edu/downloads/issues/doc/
RDSv03iss03.doc (paste this link in your browser search window, allowing no breaks)

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