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Thursday, September 05, 2013

NRI group in US calls for disaster preparedness training center in India

New York -- A group of Indian Americans wants India to establish a disaster life support training centre for the first responders for immediate relief in situations like last June's Uttarakhand disaster that left thousands dead.

"The first hour after the disaster, either natural or manmade, is a golden period," said Dr Raj Lal, an emeritus cardiothoracic surgeon from Chicago, at a meeting organised by the Connecticut chapter of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO).
"This is where the bystanders become the first responders till the ambulances and the emergency medical services (EMS) personnel arrive on the scene," said Lal, who has undergone training at the US-based National Disaster Life Support Foundation (NDLSF).
"A sustainable training centre in New Delhi must train EMS personnel to increase their efficiency, capability and adaptive capacity to meet the needs at the scene and utilise resources available to save as many lives as possible," he said.
"We must prepare first responders who are on the ground and provide immediate relief before help comes either from the local district or the state and the central government," Lal said.
The grassroots involvement is essential and the best way to engage the community with resilience-oriented projects, he said, suggesting "a bottom-up approach under the auspices of India's national Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)".
"Ultimately, for the community to regain resilience in a holistic manner, it has to prepare itself and enrich its resilient assets, particularly in relation to its infrastructure and economy," Lal said.
"In the end, it is all about enhancing the social resilience of the affected communities by public-private partnerships."

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