Uttarakhand, the Himalayan state of India renowned for its natural beauty is also known for mounting occurrence and intensity of natural disasters. Due to its fragility of ecological and geological systems Uttarakhand is extremely vulnerable to a wide range of natural disasters and remains one of most disaster prone states of India. Earthquakes, landslides, cloudburst, hailstorm, avalanches, flash floods, forest fires and many more natural calamities cause immeasurable losses to life and economy. Their impact is massive in terms of loss of lives, property, resources and ecosystems and thereby weakening the process of the economic development in the region.
It is quite disappointing that besides natural calamities human activities such as deforestation, increasing tourism, waste disposal and unscientific land use pattern are also held responsible for the state’s rising vulnerability to catastrophes.
The State witnessed devastating floods and landslides in June 2013 caused by a multi-day cloudburst. This was one of the country’s worst natural disasters affecting several thousands of lives. The entire region of the Uttarakhand was hit by heavy to very heavy rainfall ensuing flash floods and landslides. The unfortunate coincidence that the disaster occurred during peak tourist and pilgrimage season added to the number of casualties. This had detrimental impact on the immediate rescue and relief operations. People in several areas were cut off across the state and deprived of essential commodities. Thousands of people were trapped for days at isolated locations. More than nine million people were affected.
Such calamitous events present a threat to the country’s development strategies by destroying infrastructure and interrupting economic activity. Uttarakhand is facing such calamities with increasing frequency each year. While the occurrence of the hazardous events cannot be prevented, the magnitude of their impacts in terms of loss of life and destruction of property can be kept within reasonable limits through effective disaster management. We can say that nature alone can’t be blamed for this unfortunate turn of events.
In response to contribute to long term rehabilitation work in Uttarakhand, ‘Shrijan’ project was conceived. The initiative might be small but had involved sincere efforts to work for the most disadvantaged disaster affected communities.
OBJECTIVES OF SHRIJAN PROJECT:
- To facilitate rehabilitation of disaster affected community
- Support and psychological counselling for Post Traumatic Disorders
- Rebuilding of area and assuring a disaster proof construction technology further rebuilding the trust of the community that all disasters are NOT non-manageable.
- Livelihood sustenance and Support .
- Awareness building amongst community members regarding the issue
- Facilitating other mitigating services