In a bid to pool youngsters for helping people in distress, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) is forming safety clubs in selected colleges in the state.
“The KSDMA has now invited applications from interested colleges and the initiative is getting good response,” the officials said.
“In the initial phase, clubs will be formed in a selected college in each district. It will be expanded to more colleges in the later phase,” said Dr Vijith, senior GIS specialist in the Hazard, Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (HVRA) cell of KSDMA.
“The clubs are intended to help the administration in times of disasters, including emergency help and preliminary assessment of damages and requirements,” Vijith said.
“The clubs could be of real help when an incident happens in remote locations,” he said. The KSDMA will provide financial assistance to the selected colleges for setting up infrastructure facilities.
“The clubs will be equipped with computers, digital cameras and other facilities. Besides, there will also be funding for conducting study classes and awareness classes,” Vijith said.
According to the officials, the clubs will have three main tasks including assisting in continuous disaster data collection in the district, conducting campaigns for disaster risk reduction and observance of the World Disaster Day (October 13). The KSDMA also plans to make use of the clubs to prepare a database for better disaster management activities.
“The clubs will be entrusted with the task of preparing a real time documentation. Their post-event reports will be helpful in finding out the shortcomings in rescue operations,” he said.
The clubs, to be headed by a permanent faculty, will have around 30 members in the beginning. “Right now, the focus is to form a strong team and the number of members would be increased once the programme is rolled out,” Vijith said.