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Title: Psychosocial Effects of the Gujarat Earthquake On Children
Authors: Mehra, Ruchita
Keywords: Katy Gandevia
School of Social Work
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: Tata Institute Of Social Sciences
Abstract: The earthquake that shook Gujarat on 26th January 2001 was a massive one. Hailing from Ahmedabad, the researcher had a first-hand experience of the effects of this herculean disaster. In her research, she has studied its effects on children. The aim of the researcher was to study how a child reacts to a calamity of such high intensity, which though occurs in his/her physical environment breaks through the wall of family security and affects his/her entire being. The overall objective was to study how the Gujarat earthquake affected children who are in their late childhood. The specific objectives were: I. To study the psychosocial effects of the earthquake on children. 2. To study the means of coping used by the children. 3. To study the level of adjustment achieved one and a half years after the earthquake. 4. To suggest interventions in the field of post-disaster mental health of children. The strategy of theoretical sampling was used as a guide for selecting the research setting and the researched. The research setting were the children of Bhuj, Bhachau, and Anjar districts of Kutch, who were affected by the Gujarat earthquake. Kutch was chosen as it was the worst hit among all districts of Gujarat. The districts of Bhuj, Bhachau and Anjar that constitute the research setting suffered the maximum damage with the epicentre being in Bhuj. The researcher collected her data from nine villages and four towns across Bhuj, Bhachau and Anjar districts of Kutchthrough schools, earthquake-roof houses and the stoic nature of Kutchis. This research could help suggest nterventions in post-disaster mental health of children. Hence, it could be useful for disaster workers, mental health workers, teachers, parents and all those working with children who have been affected by a disaster. Most importantly, this research brings to light the need for intervention with the children of Kutch, and could be useful to those interested in working on the same.
Appears in Collections:M.A.

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