This book presents a national-level analysis of disasters in the backdrop of the vulnerability of the Indian population. Offering an interdisciplinary perspective, it highlights that while conventional wisdom has persistently maligned ‘nature’ for disasters, majority of disasters in India are not due to ‘natural’ causes.

Vulnerable India: A Geographical Study of Disasters reconceptualizes the discourse on disaster and argues persuasively for the necessity of examining socio-economic vulnerability in relation to geography. With the aid of exhaustive research, comparative statistical analyses and data presented in the form tables and maps, it provides an incisive insight into 16 different disasters across 594 districts of the country. The author introduces new terms such as ‘disasterscape’, ‘disaster index’ and ‘vulnerability cluster’ for better understanding. Not only does she review traditional and modern perceptions of disasters in India, she also examines the representation of disasters in popular Indian cinema and provides a historical understanding of Indian perception of natural disasters and India's continuing failure to adequately contain damage to life and property.

This book will be extremely valuable to disaster research institutes and centers of disaster management studies. It is an ideal reference material for students of disaster management, environment science, environmental sociology, geography, development studies and social work.

India's Disasterscape

India's disasterscape

It was a mark of respect rather than a mere ritual that every male at Jamak got his head shaven when seventy-three neighbours died in an earthquake that shook Uttarkashi on 20 October 1991. There were to be no cremations. No reading of last rites. Merely burials beneath tons of rocks. Bodies savaged by beasts were thrown hurriedly into the Bhagirathi. The settlement of Jamak had turned this normally chirpy river into a flowing graveyard. But in Mowad, some 1,000 kilometres from Nagpur, it was the river Wardha that turned the settlement into a cemetery on 7 August 1991. It was the fury of floods of Wardha, which inundated huge boulders into Mowad, a municipal settlement of 10,000 inhabitants. Corpses of children ...

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