Y.S. RANA, CHANDIGARH—People are emotionally are attached to their pets or livestock and in case of disaster it becomes difficult to evacuate people from a disaster-hit area. It also causes increase in the loss of lives. Keep this in mind, the authority of National Disaster Response Force is preparing its personnel to protect animal lives in emergencies
India’s frontline in disaster response is participated in the first ever training exercise to train it to save animals lives during disasters. During disasters it is not only people that suffer, animals do suffer too. Hundreds lose their lives and many more are injured. The survival of animals and people are linked with action during disasters not only help animals, it also helps the people who depend on them.
Preparing India’s National Disaster Response Force to Protect Animal Lives in Emergencies India’s front line in disaster response to participate in first ever training exercise to help save animals lives during disasters.
This week, 34 personnel of NDRF are attending a major training exercise on the ‘Management of Animals in Emergencies’ at the College of Veterinary Sciences, Guwahati, Assam.
The official of the authority stated that the six-day training workshop would include evacuation drills and training techniques, to equip search and rescue personnel to respond to the urgent and longer term needs of animals in disaster hit areas.
The training session is being run by World Animal Protection in association with the NDRF, College of Veterinary Sciences, Assam and Policy Perspective Foundation.
While speaking on the occasion, Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, said “Life in rural India is incomplete without animal. People are dependent on animals for both economic benefit and emotion needs and so it is vital to protect animals during disasters.”
Year after year, country endures cyclones, droughts, floods, landslides and earthquakes and vulnerable to devastating disasters, it becomes of paramount importance to work together using collective knowledge, skill and power to make a difference to the lives of people along with animals, added Mr Rijiju.
Talking to disaster management authority, Chandigarh, said that the such initiative of the World Animal Protection would go a long way in shaping disaster management authorities across the country. It is also seen during rescue operations the strong human-animal bond, where animal owners are simply not willing to leave the site without their pets and animals even during life threatening situation to them. Training like this, helps the NDRF personnel to handle such situations to give better results.
Gajender Sing, Country Director, World Animla Protection India concluded,”NDRF is already doing commendable humanitarian relief operations. After such training sessions, they would be better skilled, trained and knowledgeable in rescuing human as well as animals. In future, we hope rescue teams would be well-equipped to evacuate animals alike. With more than two-third of country’s rural population dependent on animals, the ability to better protection of animals during disaster will help protect livelihoods.
The training modules will make our troops understand the nuances of animal behaviour and characteristics before and during a disaster like floods or earthquake,” Singh, who developed the module after studying the best practices used in this domain across the world, said. Officials said this is the first time that such a skill is being imparted to any agency in the country and only few countries like New Zealand and Canada have these procedures included in the training syllabii of their disaster mitigation and response teams.