Earthquake victims remembered in Kutch

Ahmedabad: Community leaders from 11 disaster affected countries of Asia paid homage to the victims of January 26, 2001 Bhuj earthquake here.

United Nations' Development Programme (UNDP), National Institute for Disaster Management (NIDM) and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) with key civil society organisations had organised the event yesterday.

The earthquake in Gujarat state had claimed 50,000 lives and devastated its main cities of Ahmedabad, Kutch and Saurashtra region.

"The Recovery of Gujarat is unique because it was mainly lead by citizens where the government and NGOs chipped in. There is not a single initiative since Gujarat earthquake that is not influenced or shaped with a motive to rebuild Gujarat," said Mihir Bhatt of AIDMI.

Women's business leader from Nagris Cyclone affected Myanmar saluted efforts of women to recover livelihoods with support from organisations such as SEWA and KMVS (Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan) while war widows of Afghanistan admired the business spirit of traders from Kutch and support of GSDMA in rebuilding four towns in record time, he added.

According to him, participants came from Myanmar, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, and Thailand.