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Rajendra Bhandari, SEEDS selected for Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar

Saturday - January 23, 2021 8:00 pm , Category : SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) Rajendra Kumar Bhandari has been selected in individual category for the Subhas Chandra Bose Aapda Prabandhan Puraskar 2021 along with Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS) in the institutional category for invaluable contribution and selfless service in India in the field of Disaster Management.
The annual award is announced every year on January 23, the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 51 lakh and a certificate in case of an institution and Rs 5 lakh and a certificate in case of an individual.
Bhandari and SEEDS were among 371 valid nominations received from institutions and individuals. For the award this year, nominations were solicited from July 1, 2020 onwards.
Bhandari is among the pioneers in India who laid the foundation of scientific studies on geo hazards in general and landslides in particular. He established India's first laboratory on landslide studies at CSIR-Central Building Research Institute (CBRI), and three other Centres. He also conducted studies on disasters in India, deployed latest technologies of Ground Penetrating Radar; Geotechnical Digital System; vibrating wire Piezometers; Laser Particle Analyser; Pile Drive Analyser and Acoustic Emission Technology for in-depth investigations, instrumentation, monitoring and risk analysis for early warning against landslides. Pace-setting examples so created demonstrated organic connection between scientific investigations and engineering interventions for disaster resilient human habitat and highways.
Bhandari's other contributions are the first global example of permanently fixing a major landslide by deep mountain drainage through directional drilling; the first globally accepted explanation of undrained loading triggered landslides; and the first Landslide Hazard Atlas of India, published by Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC). His advocacy for National Disaster Knowledge Network became part of the recommendations of the High-Powered Committee in October 2001. He led Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE) Forum to deliver a set of Actionable Recommendations on Landslide disaster mitigation. He has also written books for popularization of disaster education for students.
In institution category, SEEDS has done commendable work in building community resilience to disasters. It has been working towards disaster readiness, response, and rehabilitation, building local capacities and enabling risk reduction at the community level in different states in the country.
With a deep understanding of their contexts, local leaders have a unique ability to reach excluded communities who lack access or fall outside the gambit of large-scale programming. Local leaders often possess the capacity to innovate and have a strong understanding of local systems, politics, and culture. Recognising the importance of local leaders, SEEDS actively engages in their capacity building to reduce the vulnerabilities in their communities.
SEEDS have worked on school safety in several States by enabling community leaders and teachers in identifying, assessing, and managing risks in their own local communities. They have also promoted citizen fora, comprising representatives of local resident welfare associations, market trader associations and local groups in the States, to serve as a bridge between district authorities and communities for joint implementation of programmes on public health and safety.
In the aftermath of earthquakes in India (2001, 2005, 2015), SEEDS had mobilised a group of building masons who are adept in carrying out disaster resistant construction. These masons have become ambassadors in local communities across several emergencies in multiple States. SEEDS has also been leveraging technology like AI based modeling for early warning and feedback so as to significantly improve preparedness and decision-making ability of affected communities.
For the year 2020, Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, Uttarakhand (institution category) and Kumar Munnan Singh (individual category) were selected for this award.

--IANS rak/rt