Saturday, August 24, 2013

Workshop on Disaster Preparedness & How to Streamline Helps and Supports in Distress Situation

Venue: JNU SSS-I Committee Room
Date: 15 August, 2013 (Thursday)
Time: 11.30
President of Delhi YPA Joint Headquarters, Mr. Thangzalun Khuptong led the gathering in singing the anthem, “Dial dial in diam diam leng lawm” - When we stick togather.
That was followed by Ms Niangkhannem, Secretary to YPA Jt Headquarters introducing the resource persons for the assembly, Mr. Sunil Sanwaria, representative of Delhi Police and Mr Daniel Halakan of Emmanuel Hospital Association (EHA). As a token of thanks bouquets were presented to them.
Then the President proceeded to the stand and delivered a keynote address.
Established in the year 1953, the Young Paite Association is a philanthropic organization of the Paite speaking community living in the southern part of Manipur state and adjoining areas of Mizoram and the then Burma. As an important organ of the Paite community, YPA promotes a humane attitude and undertakes rescue and restoration work in distress situations. Such social service is not restricted to the Paite community alone. During the crash ofIndian Airlines Flight 257 on August 16, 1991, YPA volunteers rendered rescue work at the crash site.
Fifty years after establishment, YPA keeps up its service to the community in Delhi with a bit more paper work and logistic support.
The growth profile in membership of YPA in Delhi may be summed up as- few in the 1970s, handful of families in the 80s, rush in the 90s and almost 2000 families today, no wonder the unit in Delhi has since been upgraded to a Joint Headquarters status since the year 2001.
The aspiration to conduct a workshop on disaster preparedness was born on the occasion of celebration of the golden jubilee in Mizoram House, Vasant Vihar. Through the interactive session, Delhi YPA hopes to take the existing format of philanthropic work a step ahead and better streamline crisis management.
When Sunil Sanwaria (SS) rose he was greeted with a round of applause. He narrated the legal provisions based on which the problem of minorities settling in Delhi can be addressed like section number 144 CrPC, the Parivartan Scheme, Crisis Intervention Scheme, etc.  An officer in Delhi Police at the level of Joint Secretary is specially assigned the responsibility of overseeing the safety of the People from the North-East living Delhi (PeNED), details of which are available in the link .
There are 2 lakh PeNEDs many of who are living in Munirka village. A Divisional Office in Munirka village is there to take care of the safety and security of 30% of the tenants in Munirka village, who are coming from the North-East.
As far as PeNED are concerned, the DP has taken special interest. It deputed special training to officers in March, 2013. The Zero-Tolerance Policy is specifically meant for the safety and security of PeNED.
In order to ensure that no girl is alone late at night, call centre cabs are mandated to drop the girls at their door steps. Violation of the order could attract 188 IPC. During late nights PCR Vans are directed to drop girls at their residences depending on the situation. 177 Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) are deployed at the police stations and police personnel are sensitized. In all, 7 nodal officers- one  in each district are assigned to monitor the work. Thana level committees meet once in a month. Also North-East student leaders are made to work in tandem with the police. There are plans to depute persons from the North-East as beat constables. Besides mobile numbers of DP staff are sent every night and their visiting cards made available to the residents of North-East in Munirka.
DP also conducts meeting between RWAs and student leaders. A beat constable is posted near Anupam restaurant and Baba Ganganath in Munirka round the clock.
During Question/Answer Session
The following questions were put forth:
(1)    What are the modules of training taken up in March 2013? (Niangkhannem)
(2)    Whether there are plans to continue the training? (Niangkhannem)
(3)    What are the reasons for harassment being carried out to PeNED? (Niangkhannem)
(4)    Does DP maintain statistics about crimes against PeNED? (Niangkhannem)
(5)    Whether there are proposals for special recruitment of DP for PeNED ? (Niangkhannem)
(6)    There are 56 incidents of crime against PeNED, DP register about 36 cases, follow up happened in 5 cases. In this connection please state-
(i)                  What are the problems?
(ii)                Whether FIRs are not serious enough? (Kaithang)
SS: I am not aware about the statistics. There are the Special Operation Programmes, the Zero Tolerance Policies, etc. When a PeNED makes a complaint, we have to take action. Each and every police station is bound to register such cases. The police officer is bound to take action and register cases under relevant sections of IPC and CrPC.
How the aggrieved person comes to the police station matters. And the complaint has to be given in writing. In most cases, when charge sheets are about to be filed, amicable settlement happened.
For a strong case to be presented, the police ought to gather up all possibly vital evidences. The preparation of such ground work requires a lot of resources and energy. After presentation of the case the success of the trial calls for a consistent co-operation and moral strength of the complainant.
Question: Are there any set of lawyers to help the complainant ? (Thangzalun Khuptong)
SS: In case of any threat, the complainant can approach the police. Even in the Daula Kuan rape case, the victim came up to depose before the judge, and identified the accused. The case is now in the last stage. All accused are set to be convicted. There are 7 public prosecutors in case of need. The most harmful thing after presentation of cases to the courts is ‘out of court’ settlement. For example there was a Manipuri boy who was robbed of his mobile phone on his way back from office at 3 am.  We apprehended the two accused. But when the complainant refused to identify the accused, the case could not proceed! Similarly in case of harassment by the landlords, articles 448 and 380 of the Indian Penal Court comes in handy.
Question: Isn’t it that the Landlords in Munirka are staying outside thus rendering RWA meetings irrelevant ?(Ninglun Hanghal)
SS: That is not true. Only 10% landlords of Munirka stay outside.
As regards the query about recruitment of people from the North-East in DP, the policy of the Government with regard to recruitment applies uniformly all across the Government organizations.
Question: In a recent case of burglary in R.K. Puram, case was not followed up (Thanglawm)
SS: I may like to say that beat posts are enhanced and we are patrolling the area round the clock. We encourage the residents to use special locks.
The mike was passed on to YPA President to enlighten members about the training module applied in the training conducted in March 17, 2013 at Jharoda Kalan. 
YPA President:  Any crime or harassment carried out against PeNED comes under atrocities against SCs/STs. During the exodus from Bangalore, there was a general fear that the terror would spread in Delhi. As precaution student leaders patrolled the PeNED concentrated pockets, assuring them protection, spreading contact numbers of Robin Hibu, DP ACP and student union leaders. Activists who came forward during that time were given training by DP. In all 37 persons from the North East were trained.
SS: Non- heinous crimes are chargesheeted withing 90 days, heinous crimes, within 60 days and rapes within 15 days of lodging the complaint. An officer of the rank of ACP would inquire into the matter and if he finds it substantial, the case will go ahead
Question: the harassment in college are not perpetrated physically, but they come in the form of verbal abuse, which are intense and incessant (A college going girl)
SS: Ignore them. That’s the best thing you can do about it.
Question: The accused often wear black paints on his face. How can such persons be identified? (Pastor G. Kamzamuan)
SS: There is a good chance that you’ll recognize someone who prompted you to go to the Police Station.
Question: I need a certificate from an institution. As advised I deposited rupees 20,000. But no certificate has come forth ?(Kapa)
Sunil Sanwaria: Check it out from the official concerned. Don’t hesitate.
Thereafter, the representative of Disaster Management Unit (DMU) of EHA took over and thanked YPA for having invited him to the conclave. He was accompanied by his wife, Sunita. As Hospital Administrator in EHA Daniel is close to YPA member Kaithang Thomte, who he adorably called KT Sir.
As far as disaster is concerned, there are two things that’s going around- (i) the fear factor; and (ii) the coming forward factor. It is significant to note here that the second factor has been in the DNA of the YPA since establishment in 1953.
Daniel informed the gathering that based on the two factors, the DMU created the training set up, the procedure, the approaches and the small bits of legal matters.
In order to emphasize the underlying principle of - ‘Life Comes First’, he shared a practical experience that shows the importance of life. In the year 2008, a distress call came from a person crushed in his own car from Jharuda. The police was deliberating over the how, why and position of the accident. Meanwhile the victim died. The need for emergency was implicitly clear. Daniel conveyed the DMU’s readiness to provide medical team to any organization that needs it.    
The Speaker dwelled at length on the ecozone proposal and DMU’s zeal about reducing the impact of disasters taking place on earth. He stressed on the need to raise capability, build awareness, involvement of the masses, planning, co-ordinating mechanisms, etc.
Question: How can we contribute to disaster management and preparedness ? (Niangkhannem)
Daniel: We conduct training programme from time to time. Anyone can join.
Question: Any reward for exceptional contribution to the society in rescue efforts or in disaster management? (Biaklun Shoute)
Daniel:  There are various awards given by various organizations. We can also make recommendations to CRS/DRF(?).
Question (to the DP representative): While thanking you for reminding us our shortcomings I would like to know how long are we going to need awareness about safety? Is there something the local populace need to learn? (Ngulminthang)
SS: We are conducting regular interaction with the RWAs
Question The landlords are making money even through the electricity bills by over charging us (Thangzasiam)
SS: Thats a civil matter.
Thereafter the conductor thanked the resource persons and members present.
With that note the first session of the conclave came to a conclusion.