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Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss recommends increment for Red Cross Course
New Delhii; September 19th, 2006

Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, Hon'ble Chairman, Indian Red Cross Society, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Mr. Vincent Nicod HORD, ICRC, Regional Delegation, Mr. P.K. Hota, Health and Family Welfare Secretary, Ms. Nina Nobel, Acting HOD, SARD, Prof. K.K. Aggarwal, Vice Chancellor, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and Dr. S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General, Indian Red Cross Society at the lamp lighting ceremony of the Inaugural Function of the course.

The Indian Red Cross Society made its foray in the field of academics by starting a one year Post Graduate Diploma Course in Disaster Preparedness & Rehabilitation in affiliation with Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
The course was inaugurated by Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, Hon'ble Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Chairman, IRCS. He complemented the Society for its commendable initiative and said, ”the Indian Red Cross Society, a leading humanitarian organization since its inception in 1920 has been active in responding to the disasters and has developed technical and practical expertise in the field of disaster management. The IRCS has embarked upon an integrated strategy for prevention, mitigation, preparedness, management and rehabilitation at all levels. As part of this strategy IRCS has selected eight disasters prone States of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttranchal and West Bengal and has framed a three year National Society development plan that puts emphasis on disaster preparedness.

Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss announced that he would recommend a special increment for the doctors from his ministry who enrol for the course to encourage more people to join this course.

Dr S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General, IRCS and Course Director in his welcome speech stated, “the objective behind starting the course is to develop human resources in combating disasters effectively and efficiently and these trained personnel may further be able to train others engaged in relief and rescue operations in providing help to the vulnerable people. He also mentioned that the natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, droughts, and volcanic eruptions usually spring to mind when the word “disaster” is mentioned. Yet these events are in fact only natural agents that transform a vulnerable human condition into a disaster. The hazards themselves are not disasters but rather are factors in causing a disaster”. Dr. S.P. Agarwal, further added, “all of us are doing charity in some form or the other but what makes Red Cross different is our commitment to do that with passion. The course is going to put enough emphasis on inculcating values, compassion and the spirit of social service among the participants”.

Mr. P.K. Hota, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in his speech commented, “The course is a response to an alarming call of today's necessity as it would help in making the disaster response mechanism in the country more proficient”.

Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, Hon'ble Chairman, Indian Red Cross Society, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India addressing the audience on the occasion of Inaugural Function of the course.
Realizing the colossal need of having more trained professionals in this field the IRCS has started the course. The objective of the course is to train professionals to improve the emergency response mechanism of the local bodies, preparedness, mitigation and rehabilitation. It will also help in providing opportunities to professionals to obtain specialized qualification with global recognition and a platform to build up the capacity of relief agencies. The course is open to all, including governmental and non-governmental staff, Red Cross volunteers, defence services, police services and private organizations.

The Indian Red Cross Society has wide and varied experience in disaster relief work ranging from 1934 Bihar earthquake to 1999 super cyclone in Orissa, 2001 Gujarat earthquake, 2004 tsunami in coastal areas of Andaman & Nicobar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu & Kerala and Jammu & Kashmir earthquake in 2005. In all these situations the IRCS made optimum utilization of its disaster response mechanism and helped the vulnerable people. These mechanisms and infrastructure include strategic warehousing, Central Training Institute (CTI) at Bahadurgarh (near Delhi), trained and equipped Disaster Response Team to facilitate communication, information gathering and sharing in response to a disaster, 12 Water & Sanitation Units to provide potable water (another 20 being procured) and Medical Disaster Units. These Wat-san units have been deployed in Tamil Nadu and Andaman & Nicobar during tsunami 2004, Mumbai Floods 2005, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai and Namil Nadu Floods 2005 and recent floods in Gujarat. The capacity of these units of providing safe drinking water per hour ranges from 3000 litres to 10,000 litres.

Prof. K.K. Agarwal, Vice Chancellor of the GGSIP University expressed his pleasure on starting of the course. He mentioned that IRCS is the most suitable organization for running such a course. He called upon all agencies
to strengthen this initiative of the Society.
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