Agencies involved in disaster management should ensure that alerts generated for calamities should timely reach the remotest panchayat location in the country and organisations like NCC, women groups and home guards should be brought on board for this task, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Thursday. He asked the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the federal agency to train and undertake operations during such emergencies, to take a leadership role in this context so that whenever such an emergency strikes, a trained personnel can work as a “stop gap arrangement” till professional rescuers reach the spot.
He was speaking while inaugurating a two-day ‘annual conference on capacity building for disaster response 2022’ being held in Delhi. The meeting has been organised by the NDRF with representatives of various central and state disaster response forces and other related agencies participating. The NDRF should make sure that the alerts generated for an impending disaster reach the intended location, village and panchayat in time, he said.
The minister said special focus should be given to cases of lightning strikes where time is less and it should be ensured that accurate alert reaches the intended village and its inhabitants. “We have made many apps (mobile applications) for a variety of disasters but a definite mechanism should be made so that the alerts reach in time to the remotest location,” Shah said.
For this, the minister said, volunteers of the NCC (national cadet corps), NSS (national service scheme), home guards, women self help groups should be involved in the disaster management protocol. The literature and training module should also be prepared in local languages, he said.
The information about the disaster has to percolate down correctly and for this we also need to have professional expertise, he added. “This will ensure that a trained personnel will be present at the remotest level where a disaster strike and that person will work as a stop gap arrangement till the NDRF or state disaster response force arrives,” he said.
He said the NDRF along with their state counterparts should ensure that no village or city is left where youngsters are trained in basic disaster rescue and relief tasks. Shah said the period between the years 2000 and 2022 has been a “golden period” in the context of disaster management in India.
Before 1990, there was no thought or planning as to how to save lives during disasters but the plans used to be relief centred, he said. “With the coordinated work of different agencies over the last 20 years or so, we can better save lives,” he said.
Due to our better planning, the loss of lives during disasters like cyclones has gone down drastically, Shah said.