partha on 29 Jan 2001 00:33:48 -0000

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<nettime> [bytesforall] Earthquake in Gujrat and 'Bytes for All' Appeal to World Community

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Earthquake in Gujrat and 'Bytes for All' Appeal to World Community

Dear friends,

The earthquake that claimed the lives of nearly 20,000 people in
India recently is just one of several visitations of nature's fury in
Asia. In the past ten years alone hundreds of thousands of people have
perished in earthquakes, floods, cyclones, droughts in the region which
spans India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

No country in the region is exempt from natural disasters. The entire
subcontinent is vulnerable to earthquakes. The worst quakes in the past
decade occurred in Latur, Maharashtra, the Garhwal region of Uttar
and now Gujarat. The eastern coast of India particularly the coast of
and Bangladesh are regularly battered by cyclones. Droughts alter with
floods to take a huge toll of human lives.

The new millenium has opened with the specter of famine hovering above
of the countries in the region. This year will see large-scale migration
cities as food and water stocks reach a record low in most of these
countries. The first of the mass movement of people has already been
reported from Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from this
beleaguered nation have moved into Pakistan's North-West Frontier
More are at the borders awaiting the first opportunity to get in.

Natural disasters are only compounded by acts of human omission and
commission. One of the most populous regions in the world, South Asia
suffers from grinding poverty, inadequate infrastructure and a
crisis. Time and again, conventional solutions designed for the first
have proved to be entirely insufficient to meet the requirements of
Asia. Alternatives in technologies, value systems, infrastructure setup,

human resource management are all required to meet the needs of the

BFA's Initiative: Next Issue on Diaster Management

Bytes for All, a volunteer-effort by participants from South Asia, is
engaged in promoting low-cost alternative technologies which could be
adopted in the region. We would like to explore the potential offered by

such technologies to combat the effects of natural disasters. For
information on alternative construction technologies that could help
buildings withstand severe earthquakes and cyclones is welcome. Low-cost

water conservation techniques that could be implemented by small
would be another important feature at our site.

BfA believes that a well-maintained communication network is essential
disseminate information in times of disaster. Links to community radio
networks (HAM) radios, Internet radios, and online help on forming
information networks are a necessity. We would also like to help
citizens form disaster management plans in their communities so that
and relief operations can be launched with minimum help from outside

BfA therefore welcomes individuals, social organizations, owners of
lists, academics, social workers and anyone who can contribute with
information or volunteer in this effort.

We all at 'Bytes for All' had been safe on this earthquake but the
millions weren't.
We pray for the departed souls of our brothers and sisters in Gujarat
and other places
across the border.


'Bytes for All' Family____

Shiv Kumar (Mumbai, India),
Zunaira Durrani (Karachi, Pakistan),
Sangeeta Pandey (Kathmundu, Nepal),
Gihan Fernando (Colombo, Sri Lanka),
Nadeem Hamid (Islamabad, Pakistan),
Daryl Martyris (Indian, living in Chicago, USA),
Archana Nagvekar (Goa, India),
Zubair Faisal Abbasi (Islamabad, Pakistan),
Arun Kumar Tripathi (Indian, living in Dortmund, Germany),
Frederick Noronha (Goa, India),
Partha Pratim Sarker (Dhaka, Bangladesh)

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