Udupi: With a view to engage locals in disaster management, volunteers are being trained under the ‘Aapada Mitra’ scheme. Around 300 volunteers are expected to be trained in search and rescue operations in various disaster conditions.
The training for the first bacth of 100 volunteers begun on June 20 at Sri Dharmasthala Rural Development Institute Brahmagiri. Training is being imaprted under the auspices of the district administration, fire brigade and the disaster management unit of the district.
The need for training locals in disaster management was felt as it is difficult to mobilise first reponders from police, paramilitary or the army at a short notice. Locals, with the better knowledge of their surroundings, can serve as the first to reach disaster zones until the backup form allied agancies arrive.
The local disaster volunteers are being shown the ropes of responding quickly and effectively to wide ranging disasters with a view to saving lives, said Vasantha Kumar HM, the District Fire Officer in Udupi.
As per NDMA, Aapda Mitra scheme is central sector scheme for providing training to community volunteers in disaster response. Under this scheme, the volunteers are trained and equipped with skills required for basic relief and rescue actions as per the immediate needs.
Volunteers get 12-day disaster rescue and management training. The trainees are given food and lodging for the duration of the training. Once completed, the disaster management unit will keep in touch with them and deploy them during any disaster situation.
The volunteers will be trained common disaster risks identified for the district including land slip, floods, building collapse, sea erosion, and even cyclonic storms. They will be equipped to effectively interact with the public, move people to safe areas, coordinate with governemnt agencies during the disasters.