The Himalayan Tragedy

Nepal quake: A SAARC opportunity

The Nepal earthquake has not only brought response teams from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and India working together but demonstrated the power of regional cooperation writes Monish Gulati for South Asia Monitor   

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Watch your dollars- Development work after quake

Rarely has a country become the victim of a monumental natural catastrophe at a time when its politics remains paralyzed and much of its institutions dysfunctional. This is the situation Nepal finds itself in the aftermath of a 7.8-point mega-earthquake that struck the country on April 25. Besides killing thousands and displacing millions, the temblor also caused immense damage to the country's development infrastructure and demolished much of its historic sites and archeological treasures.

Political (and some other) priorities

Today is day six of the emergency and the search and rescue period, at least in Kathmandu, is past its peak. Two days ago, I went to the Dharahara, the minaret style lookout tourist tower where quite a few people died—there was no sign of anyone still doing search and rescue (SandR). Clearly, there has been little, probably no, SandR in rural areas where it is most needed.

Nepal quake aftermath shows it's time SAARC food bank gets going

A reminiscence in textbooks in Nepal and eastern India on the 1934 Nepal earthquake mentioned about how electric bulbs came out of their holders in and around the Dharahara tower while the minaret remained intact. The ferocity of nature this time did not spare this 203-foot tower built in 1832. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proactive reaching out to Nepal indicates India’s traditional commitment on extending humanitarian assistance when the need arises. It also shows how India and other South Asian countries cannot escape the increasing wrath of trans-border environmental injuries as demonstrated in the devastating floods in Kosi (2008), Kedarnath (2013), Srinagar (2014) and the Indus in Pakistan (2010). This calls for collective regional action and strong trans-border institutional collaborations in order to manage such crises.

Desparate Times

All of a sudden, all electronic gadgets in my room were automatically turned off Saturday noon. I had been working on my laptop at the time. At that inauspicious time when the clock showed 11:56, my bed started to shakeand the TV set almost jumped at me.

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