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Blog / 13 Aug 2020

(Daily News Scan - DNS English) Role of NDRF in India


(Daily News Scan - DNS English) Role of NDRF in India

Amidst the pandemic situation, especially in India people belonging to different states and areas are experiencing natural calamities and disasters. Some areas are experiencing severe flood, waterlogging, landslides etc. In these areas we often see and hear that a team of people called as NDRF has gone to rescue. These are the people who have a duty to rescue people stuck in various critical situations and happenings.

In today’s DNS we will talk about NDRF AND ITS ROLE.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is a team of rescuers wearing an orange uniform. These people can be easily found on sites which are affected by natural calamity, disaster that has taken place in India. Many a times one might have noticed NDRF people, helping people in Mumbai during waterlog in several parts of the city. Even when some areas are experiencing flood, NDRF comes to their rescue. The NDRF is equipped and very well trained to handle a range of difficulties, from bore well accidents to chemical, biological and radioactive emergencies. Recently, when the Air India plane crash happened in Kozhikode NDRF team was seen helping on the spot.

Let us know how the NDRF came into existence.

In the year 2001 there was a massive earthquake and in 2004 a tsunami in India. These calamities lead to highlighting the need for responsibility and accountability for disaster response. Considering this need, the Parliament passed the National Disaster Management Act in 2005. The law laid down a legal framework for disaster response at the national, state and district level. This Act was also an outcome of the ongoing discussions about disaster management on international forums at the time.

The Act made way for establishing Disaster Management Authorities at the national, state and district levels, setting up the National Disaster Response and Mitigation Funds, and formation of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

The NDRF was raised in 2006, initially with eight battalions, and now has 12 spread across the country. Each battalion comprises of sanctioned strength of 1,150 rescuers, catering to particular states as their areas of responsibility. In some cases if required, teams from other battalions are moved for emergency response.

Battalions are divided into rescue teams which are self-contained emergency response units with specialist search and rescue groups, engineering, technical, electrical experts along dog squads and paramedics.

NDRF functions under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and is headed by a Director General. While The National Disaster Management Authority is chaired by the Prime Minister.

In one of the recent developments, it has been recently announced that four more NDRF battalions will be raised, and teams of women rescuers will also be inducted.

The NDRF gets personnel and officers on deputation from the CAPF (Central Armed Police Force) for a period of seven years. After serving their tenure, personnel are sent back to their force.

Currently, NDRF has battalions staffed by personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Sashastra Seema BAL (SSB).

After personnel and officers are appointed to the NDRF, they undergo a first responder course for five months. Subsequently, sections of personnel get advanced specialised training in deep diving, special search and rescue, collapsed structure search and rescue, Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear emergencies and also psycho-social intervention. Further, some of the personnel further undergo specialised training with national and international institutions including those on chemical and biological warfare situations.

There are some very specific and specialised training modules like the bore well rescue course as a number of incidents across India happen where children fall into uncovered bore wells.

Since its induction the agency has conducted relief, rescue, and evacuation operations during all the major natural or man-made disasters in the country, including floods, cyclones, earthquakes, landslides, structure collapses and even some cases of retrieval or radiological materials. NDRF teams have also retorted to road and train accidents, and also boat capsizes.

The NDRF team has not only helped and rescued people in India but also foreign lands. NDRF has received global appreciation for aiding Japan in 2011, when it was struck by an earthquake, tsunami and a nuclear emergency. It was also praised for its efforts in the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

While the NDRF has been able to keep upgrading its technology, officials say more needs to be done. Although the NDRF is the main national agency, there is also an urgent need to build efficient State Disaster Response Forces (SDRFs) across states. These state disaster response team will be much more efficient, active and of good support when quick actions need to be taken in sudden happenings taking place in the state.