This book de-myths the oft repeated claim of `natural disaster' and puts forward socio-economic factors as the cause for the recurrence of disasters. With this framework, the author examines the popular notion of the Vulnerable India in psycho-geographical terms and unmasks the dimensions of vulnerability itself. In doing so the author foregrounds the factors that create and perpetuate vulnerability of the marginalized sections of the society and of the nation and redefines the phrase Vulnerable India. Presenting a national level inquiry, the three sections of the book called the Fact, Response, and Reality, spell a convincing argument for why disasters recur in India.
To provide a historical understanding of India's continued failure to adequately contain damage to life and property, the book unravels the perceptions of disasters in traditional, colonial and modern India. It redefines the debate on new terms such as `disasterscape', `the killed', `disaster index', `disaster divide' and `vulnerability cluster', to better represent the patterns that engender vulnerability. With the aid of exhaustive research, comparative statistical analyses and illustrative maps, it provides incisive insight into 16 different geophysicals across 594 districts of the country.
This book is ideal for students of geography, environmental sociology, development studies, social work and disaster management, and also for policy makers.
Anu Kapur is Associate Professor of Geography, Delhi School of Economics and a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (2003-06). Her recent books are Disasters in India: Studies of Grim Reality and On Disasters in India.