Mountains in the Chaning World, Mountains in the Chaning World

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Cultural Diversity and Traditional knowledge in Uttarakhand Mountain Communities: Repository for Effective disaster management policies in India
Aparna Sengupta

Last modified: 2017-07-17


Natural disasters are a recurring phenomenon in the world and humans since antiquity have adapted ways and means to respond to such disasters. Modern era with its advancement in science and technology has been a boon for humankind in the field of disaster management. But recent examples of failure of technology in disaster mitigation has attracted attention to traditional knowledge of the indigenous communities who have their unique ways of responding to disasters. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed thousands of tourists and urban people in the southeast of Indian Ocean, was faced successfully by the indigenous people who did not lose life and went to safer areas before the tsunami hit. The comprehension of these communities in reading signs of the nature, animal and bird behaviour, wind waves are a store-house of knowledge which can help in managing disasters effectively. It’s unfortunate that traditional knowledge has not been the subject-matter of scholarly scientific investigation in the field of disaster studies. The objective of the present paper is to fill this vacuum in disaster management research. I propose to study the natural-cultural traditions of the hill-communities of Uttarakhand of India and their response to disaster. The study will be ethnology of the traditional age-old knowledge which is passed from generation to generation and how this can be utilized in efficacious management of natural disasters in India.


Keywords: Disaster management, mountains, traditional knowledge, Uttarakhand, India


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