26th August , 2023: A Jan Bhagidari or Community engagement event was organised under India’s G-20 Presidency by The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in collaboration with the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and Gau Samagra, which is a cooperative society dedicated to cow related products and self-help groups.
The “Gau Samagra Raksha Bandhan Abhiyan” initiative was organised with the objective of honouring the crucial role of the “Aapda Mitras” as first responders during emergencies.
Member Secretary NDMA, Shri Kamal Kishore mentioned that the “Aapda Mitra Scheme” was in alignment with the broader goal of enhancing disaster resilience and preparedness across the nation. He went on to add that the “Aapda Mitras” were the true guardians of disaster management and their selfless service, dedication and bravery deserved recognition and gratitude.
Shri Rajendra Singh, Member, NDMA while sharing the key highlights of the “Aapda Mitra Scheme” implemented by NDMA said that the National Disaster Management Authority had taken significant steps to promote disaster resilience and community engagement by implementing the “Aapda Mitra “scheme. This initiative imparted training to more than 6,000 community volunteers wherein 200 volunteers per district in 30 flood prone districts were trained across 25states/UTs on a pilot basis. Addressal of immediate community needs following a disaster, particularly in flood scenarios formed was a strong focus of the training. The scheme during its current scaling up process across India, aims to train 100,000 volunteers in highly vulnerable districts. A total of 350 highly vulnerable districts have been identified that are prone to natural disasters such as cyclones, landslides, floods, and earthquakes. A culture of volunteerism in DRR or Disaster Risk Reduction throughout the country was fostered through this initiative he added.
The key features of the event were a thread-tying ceremony symbolizing the spirit of protection and unity by Gau Samagra representatives for the Delhi State Aapda Mitras.The “Rakhi” made of cow dung was symbolic of encouraging sustainable practices and empowering women self-help groups. The event saw the volunteers sharing their experiences, and encouraging more individuals to join and participate and promote the cause of disaster management. This would further translate into a more resilient and prepared India in terms of disaster management.
Ms Anusuiya Uikey, Honourable Governor of Manipur was the Chief Guest and applauded the initiative which resonated with the G20 Jan Bhagidari Event.
The other dignitaries present during the event were Lt. General Syed Ata Hasnain, Member NDMA; Ms Monika Arora from Gau Samagra, Ms. Mukta from DDMA, Ms. Mrinalini Shrivastava, IPS and Director G20 and Basant, a nationalist and thinker.
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