Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will be launching the ‘Aapda Mitra’ scheme in 350 districts of the country soon.
Speaking at the 17th foundation day of NDMA here he said, “It is heartening to know that more than one lakh young volunteers in 350 districts will be trained through Aapda Mitra Scheme. I congratulate the Aapda Mitra fraternity! The government will also provide life insurance to these volunteers. I think it is a very big step.”
He also said that 5,500 Aapda Mitra and the same number of Aapda Sakhi have been trained so far who can extend help in case of disaster or natural calamity such as flood in remote places.
He also said that the government will arrange life insurance for all these volunteers.
Noting that despite the swift actions by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Forces (SDRF) to reach the affected areas, Shah said that some time it takes hours and more to reach the site. “Here, these Aapda Mitra will be playing a crucial role.” he said.
He also said that the NDMA has prepared guidelines for 17 types of disasters so far.
Congratulating NDMA for creating an apt environment of awareness generation on Disaster Management in the entire country, the Home Minister also said, because of leaps taken in the direction of Cyclone Alert Systems, while there were more than 10,000 mortalities in Odisha Super Cyclone in 1999, now it has been reduced to double digits but our aim should be ‘Zero Mortality’.
The Home Minister also said that the disaster management course should be made part of secondary schools syllabus so that the children will learn the techniques from the beginning and they might not need detailed training for it later.
“I congratulate NDRF for their excellent work in Disaster Response. It has provided a much-needed ray of assurance to the citizens in times of emergencies”, the Minister said, adding that under the guidance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government now takes proactive steps in post-disaster assessments and does not wait for the State to send reports.
Referring to the Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984, Shah said that the NDMA should have been set up at that time only.
During the second Covid-19 wave, the Home Minister said, there were parts that were also affected by cyclones. When a cyclone comes there are power outages but the Government pre-emptively ensures that no hospital remains without power and the Oxygen carrying trains are not halted because of the Cyclone.
I am happy to state that not even one patient died because of power outages and no train derailed during the cyclone, he added.
During the occasion, the Home Minister also launched the scheme document, training Manual for Aapda Mitra and scheme document for Common Alerting Protocol (CAP).