“We live in times of crisis and uncertainty, but times of crisis are also times of opportunity, and in uncertain times the impossible can become merely difficult, and the difficult can become feasible.” (Ife, 2003,p.7)
This paper is based on field experience. Disasters, natural or man-made, affect the lives of individuals, families and communities. Drawing on field experiences both from India and Australia, the author illustrates various phases and social processes that the communities go through to re-establish a sense of community following disaster. Drawing from personal experiences and associations with various disasters like, Bhopal Gas tragedy (India,1984),Gujarat earthquake(India,2001), fire, frost, floods, and drought (South Australia, 2006), and recent Cyclone Yasi (Queensland Australia, 2011), the author examines the relevance of the conceptof community development. Response to natural disasters occurs from various corners of the society. In this article, highlighting the community recovery work initiated by someschools of social work in India, the author discusses the relevance of community development education in social work and implications for practice in a global context. This paper was originally presented at the international conference on Eco-social Justice: Issues, challenges, and ways forward:Kerala,India,in November 2011.
Key words: Natural Disasters, Community, Recovery, Resilient Community, Social Work Education.
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