By Y.S. RANA ,CHANDIGARH : In view to make the people more effective tool and increase the quality and content of disaster management, the Chandigarh Administration’s Civil Defence Department has, for the first time, roped in the residents welfare associations of Chandigarh in disaster management plan.
Disclosing this, the official of the civil defence, Chandigarh stated that the department has decided to engage more and more people from all sections of society. Letters to this effect have been sent to 60 registered resident welfare associations last week to send names of their members who might be enrolled as wardens for revamping of civil defence set-up in Chandigarh.
Replies have started reaching at the office of the civil defence from the welfare associations with requisite information as asked for by the department, he stated. A meeting with the representative of the associations would be held soon where ways and means would be discussed and a report would be sent to National Disaster Management Authority, he disclosed.
Disaster management was an all-people affair and to prepare a force of such people department would equip them with knowledge and skills so as to influence and ready them to meet the challenge, added the official. “A projector is being set up at the civil defence office to provide them training and ways of rescue operation so that in case of any disaster in their localities, these people would be the first to approach,” said he.
Considering the fact that the disaster management was a holistic, proactive, multi-disaster and technology driven strategy, would be achieved through a culture of prevention, mitigation and preparedness to generate a prompt and efficient response before the external help came in. The entire process would centre-stage the community and collective efforts of all government agencies and NGOs. It was hence required that the welfare associations were being tapped, said the official.
The welfare associations can further provide training and skills to the people of their localities to take immediate measures needed at the time of rescue operations. These can be of great help as they were familiar with their localities and could be the first people to approach, he said.
Welcoming the move, many presidents of welfare associations said that the role of disaster management has been acknowledged and it would definitely speed up rescue operations before the external help came in.
“We prove our preparedness yesterday when a railway engine collided with a train at city’s railway station. Six ambulances; a team of 8 doctors with 24 stretchers and around 100 home guards volunteers reached the site within 15-20 minutes,” says the official.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Ministry of Home Affairs has asked the Administration to conduct an awareness campaign programme on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear disaster from December 6-15 next. A team of 37 members of NDRF will demonstrate awareness in schools, villages and social welfare centre on various types of disaster.