Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Journey for Assessment

30 June 2013 : At last I was leaving for Uttarakhand. It had taken over 10 days for this plan to happen, because I had few other pending works to complete in Bengal, and then required an organization under whose banner I can move. As a RedR India member, I was scheduled to visit Uttarakhand and do a Emergency Needs Assessment of various districts in the first phase. I had been alerted by RedR India that I may have to stay on in Uttarakhand for about 2 - 3 months to help in the coordination of relief and response. When I reached Bolpur with my heavy suitcase and back-back, I found that my ticket had not been confirmed and that several trains are running late. The one that came when I was standing there was so badly packed that people were over-flowing from the train. It would have been impossible for me to go without a confirmed ticket. So, I hired a car and reached Kolkata where I stayed for the night.

01 July 2013 : Almost all my colleagues who would be part of the team had reached by 11.30 am, and I too reached around the same time in Delhi. We were checked in into a hotel, and then we proceeded to the UNICEF office Lodhi Road.  The meeting with UN team took place at the UNDP Conference room. I was a bit discouraged as the entire meeting dwelt around how to fill an assessment format, which was just a rework on the commonly accepted Rapid Assessment Format. This format is usually used within 24 hours or maximum of 72 hours of a disaster. But we were using it two weeks after the disaster had struck. I did not get the key to this, except that we were informed that this assessment will be collated, mapped, and will be shared with the government and other agencies. 

One of the members from the team said in confidence, "My son in the college could have done this survey!" He felt that it was almost sounding like a survey than an assessment. We returned back to the hotel and wondered why are we waiting here in Delhi....

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