Sunday, March 7, 2010

Geo-Hazards in Sub-Himalayan West Bengal

On 5 March evening I traveled to Siliguri and reached there on 6th morning. Attended a whole day of workshop on Geo-Hazards in Sub-Himalayan West Bengal at the North Bengal University. The program had been organized by the Department of Geography and Applied Geography. The meeting was well attended by scholars and students. I gave a talk on "Role of Humanitarian Organizations in Geo-Hazards: Prospects and Challenges". (Download the talk) Most speakers dwelt on landslides as the key geo-hazard and they focused their talks on technical aspects of containing the disaster. By the time my turn came in the afternoon, almost everyone was tired. I tried to make it as interactive as possible to ensure that at least four students got opportunity to speak up. With too many people to speak there was no time for interaction or learning from one another. The journey back was full of fun (and no sleep) as a whole group of senior women and men (some of them barely had teeth) from the State of Bihar kept singing all along... throughout the night, in the train.

A friend of mine whose origins are in Bihar told me that it is a sign that the people were going for a marriage ceremony!

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