Stronger at the Grassroots- Making Disaster Resilience an Inherent Part of Community Culture_00.1
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Stronger at the Grassroots- Making Disaster Resilience an Inherent Part of Community Culture

Stronger at the Grassroots- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Indian Constitution- Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein.
  • GS Paper 3: Disaster Management- Disaster and disaster management.

Stronger at the Grassroots- Making Disaster Resilience an Inherent Part of Community Culture_50.1

 

Stronger at the Grassroots- Background

  • The system of local self-governance, where people in the villages participate in the decision-making process, is the backbone of democracy.
  • In this context, it is imperative to make disaster resilience an inherent part of community culture.

Gaming Disorder-Definition, Causes and Associated Impacts

 

Stronger at the Grassroots- Panchayati Raj System in India

  • Background: The Panchayati Raj was first adopted by Nagaur in Rajasthan on October 2, 1959. The Panchayati Raj has vastly expanded over time.
    • There are now 2,60,512 Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) represented by about 31 lakh elected members across India
  • Gram Sabha: Gram sabhas act as a sounding board for diverse ideas and opinions. They provide a platform to build consensus and make resolutions in the community’s interest.
  • Initiatives taken by the government: In order to strengthen the system of gram sabha and institution of Panchayati Raj, the government has introduced the following schemes-
    • The People’s Plan Campaign and
    • Vibrant Gram Sabha Dashboard

Recognizing Altruism- Good Samaritan Laws

 

Stronger at the Grassroots- COVID 19 and role of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs)

  • Importance of PRIs in disaster Management: When the traditional top-down disaster response system was compromised during the covid-19 pandemic, it was PRIs that played a remarkable role.
  • PRIs helped reduce risks, responded swiftly and thus helped people recover quickly by providing essential leadership at the local level.
  • PRIs performed both regulatory and welfare functions. For instance-
    • During the nationwide lockdown, PRIs set up containment zones, arranged transport, identified buildings for quarantining people and provisioned food for the incoming migrants.
    • Effective implementation of welfare schemes like MGNREGA and the National Rural Livelihood Mission quickened the pace of recovery while ensuring support to the vulnerable population.
    • Organized community-based surveillance systems involving village elders, the youth and self-help groups (SHGs) to keep a strict vigil in quarantine centers and monitor symptoms in households.
    • Their role in mobilizing citizens for COVID-19 vaccination is exemplary.
  • Role of Gram Sabha:
    • Organized regular engagement with frontline workers like ASHA workers and Anganwadi workers through committees.
    • It also bridged the trust gap between the community and the officials.

DRDO Dare to Dream 2021 and Young Scientists awards

 

Stronger at the Grassroots- Way forward

  • The Yokohama strategy: it was formulated during the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction in May 1994
    • It emphasized that it is important to focus on disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness rather than disaster response alone, to reduce vulnerability.
  • Building capacities of PRIs:
    • include disaster management chapters in Panchayat Raj Acts and make disaster planning and spending part of Panchayati Raj development plans and local-level committees.
      • This will ensure citizen-centric mapping and planning of resources.
    • Various insurance products customized to local needs will build the financial resilience of the community.
  • Community-based disaster management plans: This would help as the community is usually the first responder in case of a disaster.
    • These would provide a strategy for resource utilization and maintenance during a disaster.
    • Such plans should tap the traditional wisdom of local communities which will compliment modern practices.
  • Financial contributions from the community should be encouraged through the establishment of community disaster funds in all gram panchayats.

 

 

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