The Discourse on the Kedarnath Tragedy

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The cloudy evening of 27 July witnessed the year’s first Chat Over Coffee (COC). COCs are weekly discussion forums where Christites are invited to debate over a topic chosen from the numerous issues the world faces today (following which they get free coffee!).

The tenor of the session was the reasons behind flash floods that ravaged Uttarakhand, especially Kedarnath. A moderate turnout didn’t hamper the outpour of opinions that just wouldn’t stop even as the session came to an end a solid hour and a half later.

One thing was very clear- the tragedy wasn’t just a natural catastrophe. The Government had a prime part to play. Several issues pertaining to this were raised by the participants of the forum. Like, it’s negligence towards disaster management measures, disregard towards environmental concerns like deforestation, late response in mitigating the impact of the floods and so on. The absence of responsible citizenship was also scrutinized.

The COC, however, wasn’t all about playing the blame game. Several solutions and resolutions were also identified. Increased accountability and transparency on the Government’s part, proactive citizenship, and sustainable development are a few of them. India doesn’t belong to us as much as we belong to it. May the India born out of the Kedarnath tragedy steer the nation in the direction of a new dawn.

Reported by: Sharon Lewis, I B.Com (Hons.) ; Edited by: Priyanka Chakrabarty, II PSEng

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