• Mini marathon organized to create awareness on disaster reduction and disaster management
Bhubaneswar: On the occasion of National Disaster Management Day, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) in association with Department of Sports and Youth Services, Odisha, organized a mini marathon today that was flagged off from the iconic Kalinga Stadium by Hon’ble Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, Shri. Sudam Marndi, Hon’ble Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Electronics and IT, Shri Tusharkanti Behera and Special Relief Commissioner, Shri. Pradeep Kumar Jena.
Close to 600 marathoners that included athletes and volunteers participated in this run and were cheered by spectators all along the way, from flag-off to finish. Government officials from different departments and staff also participated in the marathon.
Speaking at the event, Hon’ble Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, Shri Sudam Marndi, shared, “The objective of this mini marathon is to create awareness amongst the general public about disaster reduction and disaster management. Odisha has seen many severe cyclonic storms especially the super cyclone of 1999 that wreaked havoc across the State. It ranks amongst the worst natural disasters in India. The State and its people were unprepared for this calamity where thousands of lives were lost and properties were damaged. Then came Phaillin and the very recent Cyclone Fani. But improvements in weather forecasting, telecommunications and disaster preparedness, after lessons learnt from 1999, proved crucial in reducing the extent of the disaster and zero casualties. This was the result of a very effective strategy of disaster preparation and quick responding.”
Adding on to this, Hon’ble Minister for Sports and Youth Services, Electronics and IT, Shri Tusharkanti Behera, said, “During Cyclone Fani, Government was successful in evacuating villagers. However, considering that Odisha is often a target of cyclonic storms, people also must be made aware of the calamities and ways and means to tackle situations and plan and prepare for disaster reduction.
Special Relief Commissioner, Shri Pradeep Kumar Jena, said, “Odisha is the first state to set up Odisha State Disaster Management Authority and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF). Centre followed by creating National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and now other cities too have their own bodies to mitigate the effects of a disaster. In 2005, Central Government also brought in the Disaster Management Act that defines how to effectively manage disaster, reduce mortality, and economic and physical damages from a hazard. These, in addition to India Meterolgical Department’s early cyclone warning systems and developed telecommunications system, have given authorities more time to prepare and evacuate people and reduce the effect of a disaster in record time.
Today’s event in association with OSDMA and Dept. of Sports and Youth Services is an effort to further educate people to be always prepared and resilient in case of a disaster.”