Joseph George:
International Disaster Management in India: the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and Other Disasters

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India had experienced the worst ever industrial disaster in the world, the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in the year 1984. This disaster was an eye opener for the world at large to bring in major and critical changes required for effective management of industrial and chemical disasters.Since then India has also faced a large number of chemical and industrial disasters in the last 36 years including an explosion in IPCL Gas Craker Complex at Nagothane in the State of Maharastra (1990), vapour cloud explosion at HPCL refinery at Vishakhpatnam (1997), fire in the Oil Well in Andhra Pradesh (2003) and the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Fire tragedy at Jaipur (Oct. 2009). Apart from this, there have been a large number industrial disasters even during the Covid-19 as well, the worst among them being the Gas Leak at LG Polymers factory, in Vishakhpatnam on 7th May, 2020.The Government and other agencies have come out with a number of measures to effectively manage the industrial disasters in the country including a few legislative measures like the Environmental Protection Act, 1986 and the comprehensive Disaster Management Act, 2005. The presentation will throw light into the various lessons learned by the stakeholder from the large number of industrial and chemical disasters witnessed by the country and what needs to be done to further strengthen industrial and chemical disasters in India and beyond.

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Dr Joseph George is a Disaster Management Professional with PhD. in Social Work from RDVV- Jabalpur, a Masters from the University of Madras and BA (Hon.) from St. Antony’s College-Shillong, North Eastern Hill University. Has over 28 years of experience in the varied fields of disaster management, human resource development, education and community development in various states of India.

Over 20 years of exclusive experience in disaster management planning, capacity building, research, advocacy, awareness advisory services. Major projects directed include, disaster management capacity building programme under the Central Sector scheme- ministry of agriculture , Government of India, Institutionalization of incident command system in India, community based disaster risk reduction- a joint project of Government of Madhya Pradesh and Unicef, Disaster Management Capacity Building Programme, Government of Madhya Pradesh, NGO capacity building on disaster management programme- World Vision, CASA, Red Cross, Capacity building programmes for financial institutions NABARD, RBI, Preparation of off-site emergency management plans etc.

Major subject expertise include among others, Psycho-social impact of disasters and their management, Disaster Management Planning, Disaster Research and Documentation, Incident Command System, Community Based Disaster Management, Off-site emergency management planning, Table top exercise and mock drills, child protection in emergencies, Risk Perceptions studies and Risk Communication, Participatory Learning Methods, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction etc.