There’s finally some good news for the Maharashtra Home Guards and Civil Defence, a voluntary force, which is facing a financial crunch. The state government on Monday approved a proposal to allow the unit to start a year’s diploma course in disaster management from its staff college located at Dhobi Talao in South Mumbai.
With demands in several corporate offices for personnel trained in disaster management, the force is optimistic that there will be several takers for the course.
Sanjay Pandey, Director General, Home Guards, said, “We sent the proposal to start a diploma course in disaster management a year ago, and it has been approved now. We will start the course from our staff college from July. This is a positive move by the state government as there is a high demand for personnel trained in disaster management in corporate offices and this would be an added help for applicants.”
According to the government resolution (GR) issued by the Home department on Monday, the year’s course will, at a time, have a maximum of 20 students. The GR further states that the course, affiliated to Mumbai University, will not get any grant from the state and the force will have to bear the expenses. The total cost of the course has been fixed at Rs 59,000.
The course is likely to include topics ranging from facing manmade disasters such as nuclear or chemical fires, building fires, rail and road accidents and dealing with pollution. At present, Civil Defence College — Manekji Technical Centre — located at Dhobi Talao offers training programmes for five to six days in civil defence courses. It is, however, a certificate course for a civil defence guard, a voluntary post.
An official said they will approach MU soon, seeking their help to provide them with teaching staff who could train students.
“We will take teachers on deputation from other institutes like TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences) and MU. The staff college that has gone unused over the past few years will now be put to use,” an officer said.
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