Human being versus the nature has been the crux of the discourse of modern science that originated in the Western world. The more human being tries to understand nature through inventions and extractions, the more serious questions nature poses for the human life through it’s fury. The unprecedented earthquake in Nepal reiterates the fact by causing widespread destruction.
The swift action taken by Indian government in undertaking relief work in the hours of crisis for the tourism driven country and the spontaneous response by the common masses of the bordering states should be highly appreciated. Committed to the welfare of the people, as always, the swayamsevaks of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh this time again has demonstrated the zeal to provide service at the time of crisis. At the same time the communalisation of the calamity by the Christian Missionaries and miscreant like Owaisis, pushing for intolerant or conversion agenda needs to be categorically condemned.
Though the effects of tremor have been limited to the northern parts of India, the indication and predictions based on the series of friction of the faultlines in the Himalayan ranges compel us to draw long term lessons and policy measures.
First of all, we need to accept that no predictions can be hundred per cent correct when it comes to earthquakes and no government can be fully prepared for a disaster as it was clear in the case of Tohoku earthquake in Japan as well. The remedy lies in creating earthquake proof infrastructure which would cause minimum damage.
Especially when we are talking about the creation of Smart cities, world class infrastructure, the importance and need of integrating disaster management plan in such creations becomes a must. There is a need to bring in transparency and institutionalised mechanisms for quick decisions making for creation of disaster management forces. Training the masses to respond to natural disasters is utmost necessity as the panic during the crisis increases the toll. Creating sense of persistence, fortitude, and sense of community among the citizens is the ultimate measure to deal with the disaster. Since media plays a crucial role in public awareness, it’s expected to act more responsible at the time of crisis. In short, their reporting should be more humane and positive than alarming.
Tectonic shift in the Himalayan ranges is a well accepted reality now. We need to have better mechanisms and technology to predict such calamities. International and regional cooperation as resolved in the conference held in Japan is undoubtedly desirable. But at the same time we should also look for solutions in the ancient Indian science to deal with the tremors.
As the devastation of infrastructure causes loss of lives and not the tremors, one should ask a pertinent question as to why the temple structures of Kedarnath in case of avalanche and Pashupatinath in case of Nepal quake faced the least damage. Beyond the matter of faith, there is a certain science of architecture we have certainly neglected. If we create the expert groups who can combine the modern technology with traditional techniques, we will surely be equipped to deal with such disasters. While praying for the departed souls and giving our best for rehabilitation and reconstruction, if we learn these mega lessons from the megaquake, future shocks will be less devastating.