‘We Are Not in The Same Boat’: Representations of Disaster and Recovery in India
‘Representations’ of recovery refer to the creation, circulation, reinforcement and subversion of ideas about what should be done in the months and years after a hazard has struck. The research reported in this paper outlines how contrasting and, in some cases, openly contested narratives can emerge in society around the nature and causes of the event, the impacts and needs of the affected population, and the priorities and effectiveness of recovery processes. We worked in three states in India – Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala – collecting and collating a range of information on ideas, experiences and debates about disaster recovery from people in disaster-affected communities, from governmental and non-governmental organisations, from reports in the media, from academic studies and from official documentation. These related to major hazard events over the last two decades as well as recent events that hit the states prior to or during the course of the research.