Diamond hub sparkles in India's climate fight
Vipul Tejani runs a small factory in Surat, the diamond capital of India which in the past 15 years has been hit by massive floods, rising sea levels, and even the plague.
His workshop is tucked in a warren of small diamond cutting businesses and textile mills employing thousands of workers. Like three-quarters of the city, it was flooded by muddy waters reaching two storeys high in 2006.
But in Surat, someone like Tejani does not see himself as another disaster statistic. With a smile on his face, he says: "I am not planning to shift from here."
Just next to India's west coast, Surat is learning to live with big upheavals and now wants to become a front-runner in preparing for the impact of climate change in a country with fast-rising emissions but generally low environmental awareness.
GPS technology is being used to map the city of 4 million, which will enable rescuers to pinpoint where relief should be sent and whom to evacuate first if the flood waters come rushing. Flood warnings appear on LCD screens on the streets.
Every year, an action plan is prepared ahead of monsoon season. Rescue boats are kept at the ready at fire stations. Families are trained on basics such as what medicines to keep in the house or where to take vulnerable people like pregnant women.
"Whether it's in government or in the business community, there's a remarkably high level of engagement," said Ashvin Dayal, the Asia managing director for the Rockefeller Foundation.
The 2006 flood "really consolidated in the minds of the citizens of the city the need for action. That's not something you see commonly across most cities in India", he added.
two storeys high
do výše dvou poschodí
povědomí o důležitosti ochrany životního prostředí
to spark - jiskřit, zářit
textile mill - textilka, textilní závod
to pinpoint - přesně určit/označit