SRINAGAR: On the instructions of Minister for Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, Javaid Mustafa Mir, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Syed Abid Rashid Shah today formally launched a centrally-sponsored community-based disaster preparedness scheme ‘Aapda Mitra’. Prior to the launching of the scheme, the Minister said that under this scheme, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has approved Srinagar District, as one of the 30 pilot districts which are prone to disaster and the focus of the scheme is to identify and train community volunteers to build their capacity for mitigating disasters.
He said that under the scheme, 200 volunteers are to be trained in Srinagar district and the District Disaster Management Authority, Srinagar has already identified the volunteers willing to undergo the training on a voluntary basis. The volunteers will undergo two-week rigorous training in batches of 25 each in basic skills that are required to respond to immediate needs in the aftermath of a disaster, with focus on floods. These volunteers will be able to act as first responders and assist the community in effective disaster response and assist the District administration in providing immediate relief to the affected people.
He said that funds to the tune of Rs 22.70 lakh have already been placed at the disposal of Deputy Commissioner Srinagar as the first instalment for implementation of the scheme. He gave instructions to DC Srinagar that the volunteers should also be provided Advanced Disaster Preparedness Training in addition to the basic course already framed by NDMA.
Laying emphasis on the overall capacity building of the society against disasters, Mir directed that volunteers in all districts should be trained on similar lines, for which funds have been provided by the State Government, under mitigation fund, so that community is prepared and can mitigate the impact of disaster. The Aapda Mitra scheme was formally launched today with the training of the first batch of 25 volunteers, which includes a good number of female volunteers. The training will be imparted to the volunteers by expert trainers from Home Guards at Central Training Institute, Parimpora, Srinagar. The programme was also attended by Director Home Guards, Additional DC Srinagar, Tehsildar Headquarter, Tehsildar Parimpora, Disaster Management Professional and experts from CD, HG and SDRF.