With an aim to create resilience and better preparedness against disasters, the NDRF has trained a record over 1 lakh people across the country within a month to effectively respond and undertake the basic do’s and dont’s during man-made or natural emergencies.
The feat was achieved between June 1-30 as part of a special initiative when instructors and trainers of the National Disaster Response Force reached 482 villages, towns and cities to sensitise people about disasters that occur specifically in there areas and also in general.
“The aim of this first-of-its kind exercise was to sensitise the vulnerable sections against disasters and bring about a sense of community capacity building.
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“Every year we see a number of calamities happening in the country like floods and earthquakes and hence it is our belief that every man should be trained and prepared with basic skills to counter such challenges,” NDRF Director General OP Singh told PTI.
Singh, who is behind the initiative, said records show if a community is well prepared to combat such issues, the loss of life and property could be brought to as minimum as possible.
“Community awareness and sensitisation on disaster issues holds good for India. While we have reached over a lakh people in a month, many more are still left,” he said.
In the month-long Community Awareness Programm (CAP), a total of 1,07,112 people in 22 states as part of 482 such sessions were trained in basic understanding of disaster management and combat by the NDRF.
The force also trained school going students as part of this initiative.
Data shows under the over one-lakh people trained, there were 3,078 senior citizens, 30279 men and 8521 women.
A total of 29,732 girls and 35,902 boys were also trained under the same programme.
People, as part of these sessions, were told to undertake basic vigil steps in the event of a disaster and basic medical aid help to those affected by it including other steps to evacuate and help others.
The initiative has been launched as the NDRF feels that with disasters of both small and big magnitude occurring frequently in India, it is essential that citizens are “trained” in combating both man-made and natural catastrophes.
The view has also been endorsed by a recently published IIT Delhi case study on the working of the force.
“We empower the community on a regular basis as part of our social commitment which also works as our external branding. We do this when we are not tackling disasters.
“In fact, our view is that the entire nation needs to be trained on disaster management and disaster response and therefore, there has to be training on a regular basis,” DG Singh had said sometime back while talking on the importance of people’s participation in combating any such challenge.
The NDRF, a full deputationist organisation which draws its manpower from central paramilitary forces, works under the Union Home Ministry and its 12 battalions are stationed at strategic locations in the country aided by over two dozen regional response centres in other cities.
The force was the lead unit working to provide succour to the victims of numerous tragedies including the 2013 Uttarakhand floods and rains and last year’s quake in Nepal to count amongst the few prominent ones.