Kochi: Mathrubhumi Group Jt Managing Director, M V Shreyams Kumar addressed the United Nations 4th World Reconstruction Conference, Geneva on the special session on Green Recovery: The Case of the 2018 Kerala Floods. He spoke on the subject of Kerala Deluge August 2018 & Response of the Media.
Addressing the session he said: “Visual and online media and the FM stations widely disseminated the official alerts and alerted the public to the magnitude of the impending disaster. Media helpdesks provided critical, lifesaving information maximising rescue efforts, the reporters and crew strove beyond the call of duty to keep the public updated and alert authorities to the ongoing situation. We also took the initiative to report from the most dangerous locations, without a thought for personal safety, we lost in the line of duty, two souls to the floods-part time correspondent, Sajimon EK and driver Bibin K Babu”.
He also said: “Media helped channelise much needed resources from India, abroad and from the caring Malayali diaspora. The generosity of our constituents saw us collect relief materials worth nearly 1000 tons of food materials, 10 lakh litres of drinking water, clothes and sanitary products:; worth more than 20 lakh dollars. We conducted 39 medical camps and distributed 1000 of medicine boxes to displaced persons across Kerala, Six thousands of my staff was involved in the relief work for three consecutive weeks. We collected over 6.5 crore rupees and handed it over to the Chief Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund”.
Mathrubhumi is committed to making Kerala a safer place. With climate change, storms, draughts and floods will become recurring phenomena. In this context, we have embarked on studying the long term impact of such disasters on society. We have commissioned a study under the guidance of Dr MuraleeThummarukudy, chief of disaster mitigation and operations, UN Environment, to understand how indigenous populations, persons with disabilities, women, elderly, migrants and other vulnerable sections have been impacted. This is the first such study to be conducted in India, which will be a benchmark for future ones.”
The World Reconstruction Conference is a global forum that provides a platform to collect, assess and share disaster reconstruction and recovery experiences and take forward the policy dialogue for an effective international disaster recovery and reconstruction framework. The conference is organised in conjuction with the 6th global platform for disaster risk reduction (GPDRR) and will align with its thematic focus on how managing disaster and risk- informed development investments towards sustainable and inclusive societies.