[URBANTH-L]Re: URBANTH-L Digest, Vol 46, Issue 2

Sudha Mohan sudhamohan1 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 7 01:04:02 EDT 2005

The similarities in human suffering across continents....is truly and
sadly amazing

I agree with Prof Judy Whitehead, who has very correctly and
effectively argued the similarilites between the situations in Mumbai,
(where she was present during the deluge and I had an opportunity to
briefly meet her at my Univ. in Mumbai) and New Orleans.

The problems in Mumbai, after the July 26th deluge and the record
rainfall in a century, was truly a natural disaster but compounded by
both man-made lacunae in planning and urban development and
exacerbated by government-neglect and administrative apathy. It was
left to local citizenry and community organizations to help provide
some form of relief to those who needed it most and it were these that
truly rose to the occasion providing the much needed small basic but
very essential support to the victims. The Local govt/administration
stepped in too late after 'getting an accurate picture of the
disaster' and after much damage was already done, both in terms of
loss of life and property. (I had a dejavu feeling after reading
reports of something similar in several affected areas in the US and
more specifically New Orleans) "Property" in Mumbai of people most
affected, meant humble habitat of people mostly involved in the
informal sectors of the economy, bypassed and ignored by the new
dispensation under the triumvarate (LGP) policies of Liberalization,
Globalization and Privatization. Unfortunately we need a disaster to
'expose' govt/adm inefficiency, ineptitude and inertia.....or can we
now hope that our governmental machinery at any level (local throught
national) would have been given a wake up call to govern with EASE,
viz., emphasing upon, Efficiency/Empathy, Accountability, Sensitivity
and Equity!!
Dr. Sudha Mohan,
Asso. Prof, Dept of Civics and Politics, University of Mumbai, INDIA

On 9/6/05, urbanth-l-request at lists.ysu.edu
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