Being Prepared

November 29, 2008 Saturday 8 pm: “Operation Cyclone” as the commando operation at Taj Hotel was christened, ended in Mumbai city. The carnage caused by it took the lives of over 100 people. Only 10 terrorists could hold the entire city to ransom, destroying the two prime locations for high end business visitors. We are still dealing with the impact of it all… urban terrorism – a man made disaster.

Over the last one week we have seen all the stages of coping with disaster: Anger… how dare they… was the security sleeping?… Denial – politicians blaming media, media blaming RGV… Depression/ resignation this is the way life is …. and finally cynicism – what can we do?… will set in. Blaming the victims, or the status quo, or the government, does not take us very far.

Disaster preparedness is very much within the mandate of Green Delhi. What is possible, is, being responsible for our city and our lives within it, instead of finding someone to blame. We do have unplanned growth in our city. We accept our vulnerability to disasters. We can make a difference… not out there…. But within us, in how we relate to people… how we relate to situations of disasters.

We can proactively relate to situations like this one, by taking actions for preparedness. Think of the possibility of creating our own individual ‘Calling Tree’ to respond to emergencies. Each of us creates our own individual network of three/ four telephone numbers that we call, in case of a city wide emergency, to let them know where you are…. and test it out to see if it works.  I know it works in large international organizations, to take care of their own employees.




Environmental anthropologist by training, been in the field for over 20 years, Gialome (pseudonym) is mainly concerned with the impacts of infrastructure and technology projects on local communities.

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