Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
We have empathised with our neighbours and have been noble in our intentions in the wake of the disastrous tremors in Kashmir. It is indeed a gesture of enormous goodwill that we have offered assistance to Pakistan in whichever way they may find fit. We have set our rivalry apart and have demonstrated that opportunism has no part to play in human compassion.
However, how prepared are we, if and when a similar disaster strikes India this day? Are we equipped to deal with a catastrophe? Is our disaster-recovery machinery well-oiled and maintained to meet any contingency? Do we have the resources and the network to react, if a disaster strikes at this very moment?
The nation gets together and pours help through whichever channel is available whenever pushed into action after a calamity. In a matter of a couple of days or three, money and material would have been offered in surplus of what is necessary. There are just a couple of issues to be addressed:
1. With the material available, the problem remains of the infrastructure and the modalities of making help available to the victims.
2. Two or three days may not be as simple as it sounds now. Two days is a period when families are bereaved of their loved ones; when those in distress lose their hope and give in to destiny; two days can mark the end of the world for thousands.
If those two days can be removed from the scene of the disaster, it would mean the difference between life and death. If those two days can be sufficient for the nation to accumulate the resources necessary, we do not have to wait for a disaster to strike before we have them ready.
Not everyone would be moved to give things when it really is not pressing to do so.
It is here, Mr Prime Minister, that we would like you to take the initiative. We want you to conceive of a campaign that drives the value of '48 hours' home. We want you to oversee the campaign that culminates in Day 1 and Day 2, where the country sees a "virtual catastrophe" when one is yet to occur. If the government machinery can be driven towards such an effort, if people can be motivated towards building up a "Strategic Disaster Relief Resource Reserve", and if you personally take the initiative, the two days would see massive resources - money and material - get together that would be more than sufficient to tide over any conceivable disaster.
Further, Mr. Prime Minister, if you yourself can head the National Disaster Management Programme and make sure that the network is in place, the people trained, equipment maintained and resources strategically positioned across the country, just the way the military is always in a state of alert at the borders, managing any strike by the nature can be a breeze.
We will then be able to set an example to the rest of the world and boast of being a country that is truly indigenous, when it comes to Disaster Management.
You hold the honours of having lifted legions out of poverty through your economic policies. It is now your chance, Mr Prime Minister, to lift a lot more of them out of misery, even before it strikes. Thank you.
Citizens of our Nation.