Reluctance to use technology a challenge to disaster management: UNEP expert at Maker Village
Kochi, Jan 3: The impact of recent Ockhi cyclone that claimed several lives and caused widespread damage to properties in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep could have been minimised by using non-profitable technologies as instruments for disaster management, a top expert of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said here today.
“There is a reluctance to use technologies which is a great challenge to mitigation of disaster management,” said Mr. Muralee Thummarukudy, chief of Disaster Risk Reduction at the UNEP.
Speaking at the #Startup Charcha organised by Maker Village at Kerala Technology Information Zone, Kinfra Hi-Tech Park, he pointed out that technologies which give more profit become popular in the market soon. He also reminded that during the late 1990's when mobile phones became more popular, it was the fishermen from Kerala who made use of the technology in a productive manner.
"The fishermen were able to know the price of the fish at each market and they would sell it at the place which gave them the maximum price. A study was also conducted at the International level to find out how the technology was used by the fishermen in Kerala to increase their profit,” he said.
When some young entrepreneurs pointed out that there are technologies of ISRO available for Rs 2,000 for fishing boats, he stated that the people are not seriously considering to leverage technologies to mitigate disaster . “We are still not able to find out how many fishermen were at the sea when the Ockhi Cyclone hit the shores of the Indian Ocean,” he pointed out.
"Electronics is changing drastically with humans being replaced by computers and robots. Studies have pointed out that there will be 47 per cent employment loss by 2040, but this also brings hope for the startup companies to come up with new technologies,” Mr. Thummarukudy said.
The future for startups is in health care, entertainment and mobility as the population of those retired from service will increase in India, he said, adding: “Startups should come up with good ideas which can change the society and keeping a track of future requirements.”
During the visit Muralee Thummarukudy also had a detailed interactive session with selected start-ups of Maker Village.
Film producer and actor Prakash Bare and Maker Village CEO Prasad Balakrishnan Nair also spoke.
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