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The IRCS MRE Programme a Boon in Itself

Mines can be characterized as a stealer of lives, limb and livelihood. Unfortunately every 30 minutes there is a new casualty caused by it and if we all want to live in a mine-free world it will take 1100 years to get rid of it.

The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have developed the Mines awareness programmes which are adapted to local needs. The National Headquarters' of Indian Red Cross Society with the support of ICRC started the Mines Risk Education (MRE) in Rajasthan and Punjab in July 2003.

Local villagers reading the printed material on mines provided by NHQ, IRCS

The training capsule designed by the MRE team of ICRC and IRCS are in full conformity with the Red Cross movement on mine action. So far 320 volunteers have been trained. They are either teachers or village heads of four majorly affected Districts of Rajasthan- Barmar, Jaisalmer, Ganganagar and Bikaner and three of Punjab- Ferozpur, Amritsar and Gurdaspur. The volunteers' contribution is noteworthy as they are informing the villagers about the missing mines and the threat associated with it.




School children of the Govt Senior Secondary School being enlightened by the MRE team, IRCS on the Mines and the danger attached with it.


The volunteers are performing three major tasks, which are - reporting about any new incident that takes place in their area, helping the victims with compensation procedures and informing about orthopaedic services available in the region and about the services of the IRCS Artificial Limb Centre in Jammu that is supported by the ICRC. They generally make use of the IEC material provided by NHQ, IRCS on mines.



Kala Singh, a volunteer for IRCS MRE Programme

One such example of a trained volunteer is Kala Singh, a teacher and an ayurvedic doctor, who lives in a village named 66NP in Sriganganagar. He feels great to be associated with the IRCS and its MRE programme. He has visited five villages and through word-of mouth and with IEC material on mines has benefited around 1500 villagers. It was Kala Singh who informed the District about the recent missing mine accident causing serious injuries to two sisters, Moorti Bai and Reetu Bai. He helped them in getting the treatment from the nearest hospital..



Malkeet Singh, a teacher and a trained volunteer of IRCS MRE programme is performing his task of spreading awareness among the villagers about the mines by putting posters on the chemist and grocery shops and addressing the ‘gram sabha'. He also makes announcements through the speakers of the Gurudwara to reach to the maximum villagers.

Swaran Singh, a victim of missing mines.

The villagers of the mines affected areas feel that they have been benefited by the IRCS MRE programme which has help them to counter fear of the missing mines. These innocent villagers are apprehensive and don't want that any one of them becomes a victim of missing mines like Moorti bai who now walks on crutches and has sent back to her parents by her in-laws or Reetu Bai, who is visually impaired after the accident or Swaran Singh whose limb has been amputated.


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