By Sulagna Chattopadhyay
Coastal populations, especially those of the east coast of India, are prone to frequent cyclonic calamities. Women’s participation in distribution, rebuilding, management and all other aspects of disaster is imperative for fostering responsive and sensitive partners who can mitigate the vulnerability status.
India is one of the most vulnerable countries that are recurrently prone to natural disasters, cyclone being one of the most prominent. Perhaps more stark than the calamities is the marginalisation of women during and post disasters; being increasingly exposed to crime, unsafe delivery and poor nutrition. Moreover, breakage of community linkages and the matrix of dependency show that disaster preparedness lacks gender sensitisation at its core. Even today women are looked upon as victims and the perception of their ‘helplessness’ undermines the natural potential to manage efficient linkages before, during and after a disaster. The aspect came to further light from a study conducted by the G’nY team in the Raichak area, about 300 km from the cyclone core of Balasore in Odisha and approximately 60 km south of Kolkata, and Mousani in Sunderban, 90 odd km south of Kolkata. [caption id="attachment_1458" align="aligncenter" width="1171"] Table 1: Recent disasters in...