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d.), on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), nearly 260 million caste-affected people are living in the world. The organisation also points that caste-affected population are most likely to be discriminated even during disaster relief practices. The case of Dalit, a mixed and untouchable population living in South Asia, will provide a clear view of the caste discrimination practices in relief planning. Dalits are underdeveloped socio-economically and most of them are low educated people. The events of disasters like 2004 tsunami and flooding in India, Nepal, and Pakistan demonstrated the degree to which the issue of caste discrimination can enhance inequity and affect underdeveloped populations including Dalits (NCDHR). Studies identified that Dalits are highly vulnerable to natural and human made disasters because they do not have improved habitation settlements. In many areas, Dalits are segregated from other communities or Dalits do not have access to mainstream settlements. Hence, vast majority of the Dalit people are living in places that are highly prone to all kinds of disasters. Even though disasters dreadfully affect the lives of Dalits, legal authorities or other interest groups do not still prioritize needs of Dalits. The fairness or justice approach can be applied in this case. This approach was evolved from the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, who argued that “equals should be treated equally and unequal unequally”. …
In addition, they have to be evacuated from disaster prone areas to other safe regions. Furthermore, governments at local and national levels should make necessary legal amendments to make Dalits less vulnerable to disasters and provide Dalits with immediate response actions in times of disaster situations. International interest groups have also a crucial role to play in reducing Dalits’ vulnerability to different kinds of disasters. In short, Dalits and other populations have to be served on an equal footing in terms of disaster relief planning. Ethics of Disaster Compensation The US Federal Government created the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund shortly after the 9/11 event. At the end of this fund collection process, a total of $7 billion was awarded to over 97% of the victims’ families. Reports indicate that the average payout was around $1.8 million (Department of Justice). This huge compensation raised expectations of a similar compensation package to the victims of other disasters. Evidently, it is ethical to provide compensation to the victims of 9/11 terrorist attack. However, the same ethical approach cannot be applied to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The 9/11 disaster caused as a result of the failure of the US government’s national security systems and hence it was avoidable. In contrast, the Hurricane Katrina was a natural disaster, which is unavoidable. The right approach can be applied to the first (9/11) case. This approach (as cited in Velasquez, Andre, Shanks, and Meyer, 1996) was developed from the thoughts of the 18th century thinker Emmanuel Kant and his contemporary counterparts.
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