National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) organized a workshop on “Mid-Term Review & Documentation of Best Practices of Aapda Mitra Scheme” at Guwahati on 8th and 9th of December, 2022.
The inaugural ceremony of the workshop was organised on 8th December, 2022 in presence of Jogen Mohan, Hon’ble Minister of Revenue & DM Department, Govt. of Assam, Shri Rajendra Singh, Member, NDMA; Biswaranjan Samal, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Assam; Kunal Satyarthi Joint Secretary, NDMA, other dignitaries from the State Authority and representatives from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMAs) and trained Aapda Mitra volunteers from across the States/UTs.
The workshop provided an opportunity to the participating Project States/UTs to share their experiences, challenges in implementation of the scheme and identify the gaps and do mid-course correction for proper implementation of the Scheme.
In the inaugural ceremony a theme song for Aapda Mitra was launched followed by three sessions categorised as North Eastern/Hilly States/UTs, Plain States/UTs and Costal States/UTs wherein the participating States under each category presented their best practices, challenges and success stories.
On 9th December, 2022 the workshop culminated with discussion on the Insurance Policy for Aapda Mitras across the country followed by a panel discussion on community level initiatives of different SDMA’S and the best practices adapted by the states. Total 30 states from across India have participated in the workshop which includes Assam, West Bengal, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jammu & Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Meghalaya, Pudducherry, Karnataka, Chandigarh, Kerala, Punjab, Goa, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Ladakh, Delhi, Haryana, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu and Bihar.
National Disaster Management Authority implemented a pilot project “Aapda Mitra” in 25 States/UTs covering 30 districts, targeting a pool of 6,000 community volunteers. In the pilot project over 5500 volunteers were trained. Based on the feedback from the States/UTs and the vision 2024 of the Govt. of India, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Govt. of India is implementing “Up-scaling of Aapda Mitra Scheme” in order to train one Lakh volunteers in 350 districts prone to landslide, cyclone, earthquake and flood.
This scheme will be operational up to 31st March, 2023. This scheme aims to train volunteers with skills to respond to their communities’ immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster.
As on date, 35 States/UTs have signed the MoU for implementation of this programme. Total 30314 volunteers have been trained from 25 States/UTs so far. In Assam across 16 districts, 2367 volunteers have been trained so far and 1533 volunteers are yet to be trained.
Being at the forefronts, communities need to be capacitated to respond to threats themselves. It is for this reason that in the 7th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in November 2016, Prime Minister proposed a 10-point Agenda for DRR that covered issues, tools and approaches to address the critical challenges in achieving sustainable development objectives, focusing on local ‘disaster management system’, academic capacity strengthening and harnessing technological advances.
Following this, ‘Aapda Mitra Scheme’ was launched to introduce the concept of a ‘Local Disaster Management System’ within the community. The impact of trained volunteers in disaster response can be tremendous, as the extent of damage- in terms of economic and human loss is greatly influenced by the initial response to a disaster.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today