New Delhi: The Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the workshop on ‘Role of Media in Disaster Management’, here today. The workshop was organised by the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. The conference was organised keeping in view the significance of the role of media at all stages of disaster management especially in preparedness, mitigation, response and relief. The workshop aimed to sensitise media about their role and responsibilities during disaster reporting and about disaster mechanism in the country.
Addressing the inaugural session, Kiren Rijiju said that there are three aspects to tackle any disaster – pre, during and post-disaster. The reaction is mainly focussed on the second i.e. during the disaster aspect, while the focus should be on the first aspect i.e. ‘pre’ disaster phase and preventive steps should be taken to mitigate the effects of disasters, he said.
The Minister added that India is prone to natural disasters which call for greater responsibilities and role to be played by us. Rijiju said that he has been designated as ‘Asia Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction’ by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), which conveyed the importance of India in the field of disaster management. It also conveys the message about the proactive and leadership role that India should play in disaster management, he said.
The Minister said that MHA has always responded to the needs arising out of disasters. He added that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is one of the largest forces dedicated to the cause of disaster management. Commenting on the role of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), he said this is a professionally-governed organisation and playing an important role. Speaking about the other aspects related to disaster management, Rijiju said that the issue of lack of coordination during a disaster should be addressed and states should give priority & allocate adequate funds for disaster management. We need to look at disaster management in a more professional manner, the Minister said.
The inaugural session was followed by a Technical Session, during which a presentation was given by Prof Santosh Kumar, NIDM, on the topic: ‘Disaster Management – A Glimpse’. The presentation was followed by a session on ‘Media and Disaster Management – Role & Responsibilities’. Kamal Kishore, Member, NDMA chaired the session. Rajiv Shukla, AIR and Dr V. Thiruppugazh, Joint Secretary, NDMA and A Bharat Bhushan Babu, ADG (M&C), MHA participated in the session and shared their views on the subject. The session was followed by an interactive session with media persons present in the workshop. A film on NDMA, NIDM and NDRF was also screened during the session.
RK Jain, Member, NDMA, Smt. Rajni Sekhri Sibal, Additional Secretary, MHA, Sanjay Kumar, Director General, NDRF and BH Anil Kumar, Executive Director, NIDM, officers from MHA and representatives of media attended the workshop.