October 22 ,2017 , 12:25 PM
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The Shake of Mega Quack in Nepal
Tara Dahal

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The mega of quake of April 25 in Nepal has dragging the attention of the globe once again towards this tiny Himalayan nation which had recently gone into decade-long civil conflict. It claimed the lives of more than 9,000, hundreds are missing, more than 20,000 suffered injury while countless of people are made homeless. Others are deprived of habitat and basic needs due to crippled infrastructures-split of farmlands, schools, hospitals, government offices, roads, electricity and communication. It smashed Nepal’s centuries old cultural heritage while powerful avalanche on Mt. Everest washed entire village. The rejuvenation of life from fear, worry, anxiety, depression and mental disorder following aftershocks will take time. The lingered trouble vexed citizens with insecurity of life and forced them to live in tents. The nature’s drama has also shaken political power in Kathmandu. With double edge - power is both a problem and solution of problem. Yet, in this crucial time, the surge of goodwill from the foreigners and natives was mammoth. Nepali people have developed an instinct to survive and grow by infusing human intelligence and wisdom of altruistic urges to rebuild.

It is a time to cross the ideological division of conflict period and traverse across the spirit of nation’s heritage that elevated the importance of charity, donation and philanthropic service above self-interest. Political parties-dominated rule has allocated power, pelf and position among limited elites close to them leaving the citizens in the lurch. But leaders neither could deliver constitution, peace and progress nor developed sufficient ability to address the national crisis. The quake has added another crisis in the nation’s life. This crisis is not easy to manage with repetition of past mistakes of political parties. Nature’s disruption mainly arises out of the human fault. The solution lies in protecting the nature and constructing disaster-resilient infrastructures.

Nepal still treasures traditional value of providing helping hands to the needy. This time the civic spirit of Nepali youths, communities, local civil society and NGOs have been invigorated once again. The nature of general Nepali society is resilient. It is diverse and each group helps the other in time of need.  Its spiritual foundation inspires, strengthens and encourages people to heal and prosper. Political leaders cannot afford to erect the nation from the heap of rubble without international cooperation. But the culture of taking reduces self-confidence of people, creates their dependency and loses self-confidence.  Our security forces have done explemery jobs. They rescued many people despite scarce resources, limited helicopters, and rugged terrain. They coordinated international efforts but used national idea, plan and invention to mitigate the effect of this tragedy. Re-using the power of nature once again, we can build this nation and add perfection to our cultural heritage.

Risking their own lives Nepali security agencies involved in search, rescue and relief.  Social media were flooded with mixed emotion of anger as regards the inability of political leaders, appreciation of international hand,  rejection of neighboring media’s attitude towards victims, mismanagement of relief services. More than 3000 aftershocks in a month had left no choice than anxious milieu. Diverse strata of people assumed various roles. One group found opportune time for religious conversion, other in the failure of political leaders for reciprocating helping hands while others found blocking our own goods, mismanagement of relief handing,  fault of bureaucracy for giving permission to  build substandard homes.

At this critical moment, some international factors were found operating to undermine the government. They demanded visa upon arrival, undermined the governance capacity, flying towards northern border to spy on neighbors using the land of Nepal and provoked reactions. Tremor has highlighted social, political, cultural, spiritual and other diverse character of Nepali society but also inspired citizens to unite for good cause of serving those in distress. Absence of local governance since 13 years and government policy of promoting youth migration in the hope of remittance increased the cost of rescue and reconstruction of temporary shelters before the monsoon begins. Youth could have contributed to minimize disaster cost, distribute relief, construct homes but many of them had hard time to return. The demand of Nepalese leaders' duty towards citizens have been not satisfactory due to weak organic solidarity with the citizens.

Challenges in Managing the Disaster

First, the political leader should be alert regarding the disaster and maintain minimum level of personal and professional discipline with improved attitude. Changing the government every time and bringing the same type of leaders is not solution. National crisis demands collective efforts. High level of efficiency of political leader and bureaucracy with full accountability is necessary to take each step in the proper order.  Citizen as a member of state often first look to the state. Building its responsive capacity is therefore important. Single minded perspective, greed like taking a tent and other relief services, hiding  on the way to lot, selling relief goods for personal profit,  aligning the relief to political lines do more harm to society and undercut the service to the needy.  Leaders should stand above political ideology and involve in overall human welfare. The management of fund and its transparency is another requirement to deal with the context. In this fluid situation victims needs to be supported with all efforts.  Those who have the capacity for reconstruction should not ask the government. Red tapes must end. The government must offer good advice and forge collaboration with the worthwhile efforts of civil society, communities and citizens. The quakes of Haiti, Bangladesh, Gujarat, Myanmar and Japan can be helpful lesson while responding to the crises. In the context of diverse victims, one type has already started in constructing the damage with “can do” attitude. Another segment is expecting government’s assistance. The self-help must be encouraged by the government with some support.

Second, the government and other relief distributors should establish the priorities among fragmented issues of human as well as infrastructure. Non-linear is required  based on short-and long-term goal with logical analyses  and  know the level of victim’s suffering to  support them with aid accordingly.  It’s better to rely on our own resources and apply economical ways to deal with scattered community rather than expecting the whole thing from international world for rehabilitation and reconstruction. Third, everyone has different problems and plans and priorities. They are overeager to solve them as quickly as possible. Government should also give confidence to those whose property and families are shattered, assemble scattered communities to thrash out their problems, bridge the gulf between their subjective and objective needs and settle them in favorable area of their preference. They can facilitate to bring forth the miserable victims to address their problems. Besides, government should ponder meticulously about the psychological attribute before shifting the victims from their original territory to totally new frontiers.  

Fourth, all concerned sectors should follow responsibility in relief and reconstruction rather than accusing each other. While building the new community, the web of workers from top to down must act in strong co-ordination. In collaborative works in favor of all, involving, local as well as international team becomes  easier to deal with the problems.

The Bitter Lesson of the Quake

The fragmented Nepali society would not have been able to deal physiological and psychological aspects of this natural disaster without uniting beyond class, caste, ethnicity, religion, gender and region. Leaving some cases most Nepalese are lending their emotional, material and moral support above self-interest to achieve goal of nation’s reconstruction with natural optimism even in a state of conflicting information and tangled mess of contradiction. Keeping their psychological energy in balance is pre-requisite to achieve reconstruction.  The quack has cultivated once again the historical, cultural and spiritual environment for the Nepali citizens to turn inward, close the complex dynamics of ideological struggle for personal gain and unite the citizens for collective welfare.

Creates their dependency and loses self-confidence.  Our security forces have done explemery jobs. They rescued many people despite scarce resources, limited helicopters, and rugged terrain. They coordinated international efforts but used national idea, plan and invention to mitigate the effect of this tragedy. Re-using the power of nature once again, we can build this nation and add perfection to our cultural heritage.

Risking their own lives Nepali security agencies involved in search, rescue and relief.  Social media were flooded with mixed emotion of anger as regards the inability of political leaders, appreciation of international hand,  rejection of neighboring media’s attitude towards victims, mismanagement of relief services. More than 30000 aftershocks in a month had left no choice than anxious milieu. Diverse strata of people assumed various roles. One group found opportune time for religious conversion, other in the failure of political leaders for reciprocating helping hands while others found blocking our own goods, mismanagement of relief handing,  fault of bureaucracy for giving permission to  build substandard homes.

 

At this critical moment, some international factors were found operating to undermine the government. They demanded visa upon arrival, undermined the governance capacity, flying towards northern border to spy on neighbors using the land of Nepal and provoked reactions. Tremor has highlighted social, political, cultural, spiritual and other diverse character of Nepali society but also inspired citizens to unite for good cause of serving those in distress. Absence of local governance since 13 years and government policy of promoting youth migration in the hope of remittance increased the cost of rescue and reconstruction of temporary shelters before the monsoon begins. Youth could have contributed to minimize disaster cost, distribute relief, construct homes but many of them had hard time to return. The demand of Nepalese leaders' duty towards citizens have been not satisfactory due to weak organic solidarity with the citizens.

Challenges in Managing the Disaster

First, the political leader should be alert regarding the disaster and maintain minimum level of personal and professional discipline with improved attitude. Changing the government every time and bringing the same type of leaders is not solution. National crisis demands collective efforts. High level of efficiency of political leader and bureaucracy with full accountability is necessary to take each step in the proper order.  Citizen as a member of state often first look to the state. Building its responsive capacity is therefore important. Single minded perspective, greed like taking a tent and other relief services, hiding  on the way to lot, selling relief goods for personal profit,  aligning the relief to political lines do more harm to society and undercut the service to the needy.  Leaders should stand above political ideology and involve in overall human welfare. The management of fund and its transparency is another requirement to deal with the context. In this fluid situation victims needs to be supported with all efforts.  Those who have the capacity for reconstruction should not ask the government. Red tapes must end. The government must offer good advice and forge collaboration with the worthwhile efforts of civil society, communities and citizens. The quakes of Haiti, Bangladesh, Gujarat, Myanmar and Japan can be helpful  lesson while responding to the crises. In the context of diverse victims, one type has already started in constructing the damage with “can do” attitude. Another segment is expecting government’s assistance. The self-help must be encouraged by the government with some support.

Second, the government and other relief distributors should establish the priorities among fragmented issues of human as well as infrastructure. Non-linear is required  based on short-and long-term goal with logical analyses  and  know the level of victim’s suffering to  support them with aid accordingly.  It’s better to rely on our own resources and apply economical ways to deal with scattered community rather than expecting the whole thing from international world for rehabilitation and reconstruction. Third, everyone has different problems and plans and priorities. They are overeager to solve them as quickly as possible. Government should also give confidence to those whose property and families are shattered, assemble scattered communities to thrash out their problems, bridge the gulf between their subjective and objective needs and settle them in favorable area of their preference. They can facilitate to bring forth the miserable victims to address their problems. Besides, government should ponder meticulously about the psychological attribute before shifting the victims from their original territory to totally new frontiers.  

Fourth, all concerned sectors should follow responsibility in relief and reconstruction rather than accusing each other. While building the new community, the web of workers from top to down must act in strong co-ordination. In collaborative works in favor of all, involving, local as well as international team becomes easier to deal with the problems.

The Bitter Lesson of the Quake

The fragmented Nepali society would not have been able to deal physiological and psychological aspects of this natural disaster without uniting beyond class, caste, ethnicity, religion, gender and region. Leaving some cases most Nepalese are lending their emotional, material and moral support above self-interest to achieve goal of nation’s reconstruction with natural optimism even in a state of conflicting information and tangled mess of contradiction. Keeping their psychological energy in balance is pre-requisite to achieve reconstruction.  The quack has cultivated once again a historical, cultural and spiritual environment for the Nepali citizens to turn inward, close the complex dynamics of ideological struggle for personal gain and unite the citizens for collective welfare.

(Bishnu Devi Memorial Trust)


Friday, Jun 12, 2015 12:43 pm


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