Given their resourcefulness and organizational capacity, corporate sector can help in overcoming several barriers encountered in disaster management. Discuss. (250 Words)

Mentor’s Comments:
Answer can introduce itself by discussing change in attitude of corporate sector’s relation with the society.
What are the basic challenges and barriers faced during disaster management operations.
Then brief discussion on resourcefulness of corporate sector followed by discussion on how disaster management program can be overcome by corporate help.
End your answer on what needs to be done to amalgamate private as well as public sector in handling disaster management effectively.

Answer:

For long, the corporate sector had been viewed as a separate entity other than the society. Over the past
few decades, this perception has undergone a complete metamorphosis and the existence of corporate
sector is today intimately intertwined with the safety and well-being of the society. The corporate in
every country have always played a major role in post-disaster relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction
efforts in the affected regions. In India, the contribution of the corporate sector has been notable
especially in the aftermath of the devastating super-cyclone in Orissa in 1999 and the Bhuj earthquake
(Gujarat) in 2001.

The corporate sector possesses huge resources – human, material, technical and financial and has
significant presence in every region in the country. It also works and interacts with the community very
closely and has an important stake in the well-being and prosperity of the community as its own progress
and viability is largely dependent upon a resilient and safe community. Given their resourcefulness and
organizational capacity, corporate sector can help in overcoming several barriers encountered in disaster
management:

• The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), with a direct membership base of nearly five
thousand industrial and corporate houses and an indirect associate membership of around fifty
thousand companies from 283 national and regional sectoral associations, was the first industry
organization to constitute a Disaster Management Committee in May 2001 as part of its
corporate set-up to advise and assist its member industries in initiating disaster risk reduction
steps to insulate industrial establishments, infrastructure and processes from the vagaries and
damaging potential of natural and man-made (industrial/technological) disasters.

• In many area-specific industrial and commercial associations have also been contributing
towards the well-being of the community around them by adopting socio-economic practices
aimed at improving the living conditions and generally benefiting the people at large. For
example, the Ankleshwar Environment Preservation Society in Ankleshwar, Gujarat along with
Ankleshwar Industrial Association has set up joint effluent treatment plants for medium and
small-scale industries in the industrial belt with predominantly chemical industries and has also
taken up disposal and treatment of solid and hazardous waste generated by industries and the
cities with their own expertise and finance.

• The emphasis on pre-disaster issue of preparation, mitigation and preparedness relies on
education and training. This need can be fulfilled through corporate obligation for CSR as most of
corporate are investing in education and have trained workforce.

• Disaster management program is increasingly relying on technology for preparedness and
mitigation. Corporate sector is the frontrunner in adopting and utilization of technology for
economic purpose. This expertise can be helpful in fulfilling the know-how gap in
implementation of disaster management program.

In post-disaster scenario the means of livelihood become important issue for victims of disasters. Corporate can be helpful in providing some jobs temporary or permanent to cope with the unemployment distress. Given that natural disasters do not always follow national boundaries, cross-boundary issues of disaster management should be addressed through enhanced regional cooperation. Many multi- national corporate can be a good partner encouraging this cooperation.

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