New Delhi : The National Disaster Management Authority celebrated its 18th Formation Day today in New Delhi. The vision of NDMA is “To build a safe and disaster resilient India by developing a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster oriented and technology - driven strategy through a culture of prevention, mitigation, preparedness and response”. The theme for this year’s Foundation Day was “Volunteerism in Disaster Management”.
The Chief Guest at the event, the Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Nityanand Rai, said “Sewa, Samarpan & Paropkar is the identity of Aapda Mitras. In resonance to the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of creating a self-reliant India, Aapda Mitras have shown that volunteerism begins with us, communities coming together to build a safe and resilient India, which is the need of the hour.” He further added, “NDMA is today representing India on various International Forums for Disaster Management like CDRI, wherein India is leading 31 Countries on various facets of innovation, technology and planning for a more structured and secure tomorrow, which percolate to saving of more lives. A decade ago, the mortality rate was much higher, but with NDMA leading Disaster Management, the number of casualties has drastically reduced, it’s miniscule in comparison to the past record of lives lost since the safety/rescue measure adopted are much advanced today.”
Acknowledging the theme of Volunteerism, the Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Ajay Kumar Mishra, said that “In any disaster, however quick the government machinery may be, external help takes time to reach the affected people and this time lag is very crucial in saving lives and livelihood. The immediate and first response, therefore, lies within the affected community in the form of volunteers who can play a crucial role in minimizing the losses, when adequately trained and equipped. While the need of volunteerism in disaster management has been envisaged in the National Policy on Disaster Management 2009, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has also given great emphasis in his Ten Point Agenda on Disaster Risk Reduction, to build local capacities and initiatives and to encourage volunteerism in Disaster Risk Management.” He mentioned that Prime Minister Modi has asked NDMA to expand our focus from a relief centric approach to a proactive approach of prevention, mitigation and building back better in terms of reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Trained Aapda Mitra volunteers from the States of Karnataka, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam and Uttar Pradesh along with the volunteers/cadets of other organisations such as the National Cadet Core (NCC), National Service Scheme (NSS), Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK), Civil Defence and Bharat Scout & Guide (BSG) attended the celebrations and displayed their personal equipment (ERK) as well as district level EERR equipment at the venue.
The Technical Sessions consisted of deliberations and experience sharing on Volunteerism in Disaster Management. Participating States shared their best practises on Volunteerism in Disaster Management. Non-Government Organisations (NGO), viz. SEEDS, Sphere India, World Vision India and Action Aid India presented their Case Studies in Disaster Management through volunteerism. Thereafter, a panel discussion was held on possible role of cadets/volunteers of NSS, NCC, NYK, NSG and NYK in Disaster Management now and in future followed by a Valedictory Session chaired by the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr. P.K Mishra who described the efforts of NDMA and Aapda Mitra and other volunteers an integral part of Disaster Management.