Kerala government ties up with NGO for workshop on disability inclusive monsoon preparedness
Thanal Palliative and Paraplegic Care Society and Kerala state government collaborated to hold a workshop on how to prepare disabled people for the monsoons season. The event was held at Kochi on 27 May and was attended by representatives from various NGO’s for disabled people along with Kerala state officials from disaster management.
The monsoons in Kerala are already here. The last two years was indeed a nightmare for people with floods ravishing across the state. People with disabilities are the worst affected due to floods, especially those on wheelchairs and others with locomotor disabilities. NGO Thanal Palliative and Paraplegic Care Society in collaboration with the state government held a workshop titled ‘Consultation on disability-inclusive monsoon preparedness’ which was attended by state officials as well as representatives from disability organizations.
Why this workshop was much needed?
In the year 2018, Kerala underwent it’s darkest times due to heavy monsoon and floods. Reportedly, it was one of the worst floods of the century from across the world. Hundreds of people lost their lives and lakhs became homeless. This repeated again in the year 2019 as well, but with a lesser intensity. Thousands of disabled people, especially those from economically backward families were affected. Not only did they lose jobs, many became homeless too. During rescue and evacuation, wheelchair users and their rescuers struggled a lot. There was no planning or good exceution of rescue and evacuation.
The workshop that was held on 27 May aimed to resolve such issues. Requirements of people with all kinds of disabilities were taken into account and it was then divided into five different groups. A plan of action was formed with warnings and precautions on how to deal with a natural disaster. All these will be made available in sign language, Braille script brochures and voice messages.
Basheer KK, General Secretary of Thanal and Coordinator says that the workshop was much needed. “Disaster management department of Kerala has released an ‘Orange book’ that highlights on how each groups of people must be rescued and evacuated during a natural disaster. Needs of persons with disabilities are also in it. The workshop was conducted after we spoke to different disabled people who were affected by floods in last two years”, he says.
Experts share their views at the workshop
The event was inaugurated by PT Baburaj, Director, Mahatma Gandhi University Inter-University Centre for Disability Studies. Joe John George from Kerala State Disaster Management Authority and MK Aboobackar Farooqi of Thanal spoke about various topics pertaining to the subject.
Representatives of NGO’s and organizations for people with various kinds of disabilities were also present at the event. All of them adhered to the government guidelines of social distancing and wore masks during the entire event.
Rajeev Palluruthy, Secretary of Thanal and All Kerala Wheelchair Rights Federation (AKWRF) says, “The workshop was a grand success. We discussed in detail on how to help disabled and elderly people during a natural disaster”.
Watch in Sign Language
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