Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said the state is all set to introduce disaster and pandemic management curricula in schools and colleges to prepare Disaster Management Yodhas (warriors) in every village and household.
Patnaik said this while addressing a meeting marking the observance of the Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day and National Day for Disaster Reduction. The day is observed to remember the 1999 super cyclone which killed about 10,000 people in the state.
"Disaster and Pandemic Management is being introduced in the educational curricula of students from standard 4 to graduation level with a view to preparing Disaster Management Yodhas in every village and household," the chief minister said.
Noting that the state government has done everything possible to make Odisha a safer place during natural calamities, Patnaik said during 23 years since the Super Cyclone the state has developed the most robust infrastructure for disaster management.
The world has now recognised our efforts in all these years, he said while thanking the 4.5 crore people of Odisha for their support and solidarity in building a disaster resilient Odisha.
He also appreciated the efforts of PRI (panchayati raj institution) members, Mission Shakti Group members, frontline workers like ASHA and Anganwadi Workers, NGOs and community level volunteers, government officials, ODRAF, Fire Services, NDRF and Police personnel for their coordinated work to reduce human casualty.
Stating that during 2022 so far, the state faced floods in the Mahanadi, Baitarani and Subarnarekha river systems, affecting more than 23 lakh people in 16 districts, Patnaik said that only due to robust preparedness and coordinated efforts, the state evacuated nearly 2.7 lakh people to safer places and took up timely relief and restoration measures.
"Our geographic location makes us prone to natural disasters. Nearly 10 thousand people died in Super Cyclone 1999. Then, we did not have safe shelters," Patnaik pointed out and said during these years, 815 multi-purpose cyclone and flood shelters have been constructed. Fifty five new such shelters are under construction out of Chief Ministers' Relief Fund, he said.
For better impact-based forecasting, the government will set up telemetric rain gauge in all gram panchayats, automatic weather station at block headquarters, and sensors in our river systems. These steps will help us to get precise real time information for more effective management of disasters, the chief minister said.
Revealing additional measures to further strengthen community driven preparedness, Patnaik said the state government has been training more than 40,000 volunteers at village and shelter level.
Further, the government is taking up capacity building of elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions, Urban Local Bodies, Mission Shakti Members, ASHA, Anganwadi Workers, Vana Surakhya Samiti (VSS) Members, as they play a key role in disaster risk reduction, he said.
On the occasion, the chief minister appealed to all stakeholders and citizens to come forward and join hands to reaffirm the resolve to create a disaster resilient Odisha.