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Red Cross upscales Tracing in Bihar
September 12th, 2008  

“A large number of people had to rush out of flooded areas in Bihar. Many families are disintegrated. A number of cases of unaccompanied children have appeared in media. Resultantly, a need for activating the tracing cell at Bihar State branch has been felt strongly,” informs Prof. (Dr) S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General of the Indian Red Cross Society. He added that on the request of the branch the National Headquarters has deployed a five-member team comprising of Tracing Delegate from International Committee of the Red Cross, Family News Service (FNS) Coordinators from NHQ and State branches of Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Jammu & Kashmir. Some of them have been trained in the activity abroad as well. The team is fully equipped with the best of communication tools so that they could provide better tracing services, help in family reunification and transmit regular updates on its work.

The team is visiting the flood-affected areas and relief camps set up by the state government, voluntary and religious organizations. With the help of its 35 trained volunteers, tracing services would be offered. NHQ has also developed guidelines, training manual and volunteer’s handbook on tracing and these would be very handy in carrying out the task.

IRCS deploys its tracing team in times of manmade and natural disasters. During Gujarat Earthquake, Gujarat riots and Bihar floods of last year, our officials and volunteers were in field to help in family reunification.

IRCS FNS Unit has successfully solved 12 cases this year. Within the span of one year, 100 tracing focal persons have been identified and trained at the State and District level. Tracing services are now outreached to ‘unaccompanied minors’ in addition to refugees, internally displaced population, migrants, stranded foreigners and population affected by natural and manmade disasters.

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