The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Kiren Rijiju, inaugurated the 14th Formation Day of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) here today. The theme of this year’s Formation Day is ‘Early Warning for Disasters’. Delivering the inaugural address, Shri Rijiju said, “NDMA has changed the way Disaster Management is looked upon as a subject - that a disaster can be prevented. With such a vast geography and population while also being a democracy, we have come a long way in managing disasters; the world cannot ignore India when it comes to Disaster Risk Reduction. India is taking a lead role in matters pertaining to Disaster Management.” He also emphasized that half the battle against the disasters would be won by increasing disaster awareness and improving early warning systems. He said that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is taking special interest in making the country more disaster resilient.
On the occasion, Shri R. K. Jain, Member, NDMA highlighted the activities undertaken by NDMA during the last one year since the last formation day. Highlighting the importance of NDMA, he said, “Over the past 13 years since its formation, NDMA has contributed a great deal not only for effective disaster response, which is visible, but towards overall disaster risk reduction.” Shri Jain also informed about the Prime Minister’s initiative to give awards annually for outstanding contribution by individuals and institutions in the area of disaster management. He said that the entries of the same will be open shortly. On the occasion, NDMA also released a training manual for masons on Hazard-Resistant Construction. A study report on “Gujarat floods 2017: A Case Study” will also be released. Early warning is a major element of disaster risk reduction and can minimise the loss of lives and economic impacts. Timely early warning is key to a structured and efficient response.
To be effective, early warning systems need to involve the communities at risk, generate public awareness, effectively disseminate warnings and ensure there is a constant state of preparedness. Over the years, India has made considerable progress in issuing accurate and timely early warning, especially for cyclones. Earlier this month, authorities could evacuate thousands before Cyclone Gaja made its landfall as its path was accurately predicted.