Culture, Gross National Happiness and Disasters: Strategies for Preparedness and Management of Disasters in Bhutan



Disasters are inevitable especially the ones caused by natural calamities.  It depends on the preparedness of people and their mindset to deal with such calamities positively that instead of creating chaotic situations they come out of it.  The externalities cause disasters resulting into crisis situation and many a times they are environmental as well. There are ways through which an environmental imbalance can be avoided.  However, behaviorally the individuals have to be counseled to deal with calamities through its rich cultural values.  Bhutan is a country of rich cultural heritage and it is one of its greatest strength which is visible from GNH (Gross National Happiness) literature as it is considered as one pillar of GNH out of the four pillars. 


Public Policy initiatives have to be designed in such a way that individuals are encouraged to engage themselves in decision making and implementation of the decisions with honest intentions so that such prescribed guidelines are followed strictly and externally crisis situations are avoided.  In order to mitigate the influence of the calamities, individuals have to be oriented towards such occurrences at other similar places so that there is proper preparedness in the minds of individuals. 


This paper is divided in four parts, first part deals with the importance of Culture and Cultural values, second part discusses the concept of GNH, third concentrates on disasters and the aftermath, and the fourth part tries to link culture and GNH with disaster management and suggests measures to follow for preparedness for occurrences of disasters or/and to deal with its victims.


Disaster, GNH, Well-Being, Bhutan, Cultural Values

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