‘We are not in the same boat’: Representations of disaster and recovery in India

Few, Roger, Ranjit, Nihal, Nalla, Vineetha, Jain, Garima, Tebboth, Mark G. L. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1193-8080, Singh, Chandni, Chhotray, Vasudha and Marsh, Hazel ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1633-6484 (2023) ‘We are not in the same boat’: Representations of disaster and recovery in India. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 92. ISSN 2212-4209

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‘Representations’ of recovery refer to the creation, circulation, reinforcement and subversion of ideas about what should be done in the months and years after a hazard has struck. The research reported in this paper outlines how contrasting and, in some cases, openly contested narratives can emerge in society around the nature and causes of the event, the impacts and needs of the affected population, and the priorities and effectiveness of recovery processes. We worked in three states in India – Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala – collecting and collating a range of information on ideas, experiences and debates about disaster recovery from people in disaster-affected communities, from governmental and non-governmental organisations, from reports in the media, from academic studies and from official documentation. These related to major hazard events over the last two decades as well as recent events that hit the states prior to or during the course of the research. Though there is much variation between disaster cases in the pattern of representations by different actors, there are some discernible elements that do tend to work together to generate an effect on outcomes, often in ways that not only side-line livelihood and wellbeing priorities of disaster-affected people but also sometimes downplay or even negate the needs and rights of specific social groups. Managing disaster recovery is a hugely challenging task. However, it is not well served if the ways in which impacts and recovery needs are articulated lead to the effective exclusion of certain sectors, social groups, needs and concerns from full consideration, or to the blocking of alternative perspectives such as proactive approaches to future risk reduction. Key in this, we maintain, is the need to shift representations of recovery to better match the needs and voices of those most affected.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Author acknowledgements: We owe special thanks to the disaster-affected people and other stakeholders in Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in India who shared with us their testimonies and perspectives. We also gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Mythili Madhavan, Jasmitha Arvind, NC Narayanan and Kaniska Singh to the case study research work. Funding information: This paper was produced under the project ‘Recovery with Dignity’, funded by the British Academy's GCRF Sustainable Development Programme [award number SDP2\100257]. It also draws directly on the UEA GCRF QR project ‘Voices after Disaster: narratives and representation following the Kerala floods of August 2018’ [RR0219-6], and indirectly on multiple research projects on disaster risk and recovery undertaken in different countries by the writing team. Data availability: Data will be made available on request.
Uncontrolled Keywords: disaster,marginalization,narratives,recovery,representation,building and construction,geotechnical engineering and engineering geology,safety research,geology ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2200/2215
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Area Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Health and Disease
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Global Environmental Justice
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Climate Change
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Migration Research Network
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > The State, Governance and Conflict
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Cultural Politics, Communications & Media
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Language and Communication Studies
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2023 10:30
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 10:00
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/91888
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2023.103709


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