NDMA will train volunteers for rescue ops during natural disasters like floods
Thousands of volunteers will be trained under a special programme to handle emergencies during natural disasters, Home Minister Amit Shah announced on the 17th Foundation Day of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The programme, Aapda Mitra Yojana, will train the volunteers on saving lives during natural disasters.
"If the disaster has to be responded to in a few seconds, then only the public can do it, only disaster friends can do it from village to village. The concept of Aapda Mitra is very good. It is necessary to prepare the public for any disaster," Home Minister Amit Shah said while launching the programme in 350 districts across India.
So far 28 states have signed memorandum of understandings with the NDMA. Aapda Mitra has started as an experiment at 30 flood-prone districts in 25 states. "So far 5,500 volunteers are there, but we need more to expand the scheme," Mr Shah said, adding most of the volunteers are good swimmers. They will also be insured by the government.
The theme of this year's NDMA Foundation Day is "Wide effects of disaster events in the Himalayan region". Mr Shah commended the NDMA, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and its state counterparts for improving rescue methods in the last 17 years that they have been working.
He asked the NDMA to work on finding better early-warning systems for lightning strikes.
"As of now we are able to give advance warning of six minutes before lightning strikes, but still people have died. We need to work out a system in which no single life is lost," Mr Shah said.
#Lightning| Busting Myths & Facts About #Lightning ???? pic.twitter.com/VrfccdVCpA— NDMA India | राष्ट्रीय आपदा प्रबंधन प्राधिकरण ???????? (@ndmaindia) September 28, 2021
Government data shows India has the highest number of deaths caused by natural disasters.
According to India's second annual lightning report, Bihar has reported the most deaths due to lightning between April 2020 and March 2021 (401 deaths), followed by Uttar Pradesh (238), Madhya Pradesh (228), Odisha (156) and Jharkhand (132). Other states reported less than 100 deaths during the same period.