The state council of ministers (CoM) headed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik that met to mark completion of the second year of the 5th term of the BJD government passed a resolution in this regard on Saturday.
It also resolved that every student, elected representative from ward member to chief minister, government officials, Misson Shakti members will be trained in disaster and pandemic preparedness.
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“This is a historic step and will enable and empower our future generations to withstand the vagaries of nature whether it’s biological or climatic. Odisha will stand out in saving peoples’ lives. It flows from our realisation that community preparedness is key to disaster management,” said Naveen while moving the resolution.
A systematic and detailed training program will be prepared to equip the citizens with adequate knowledge and skills in disaster and pandemic management. The objective is to have a “yodha” (warrior) in every home of Odisha, said the resolution.
The CoM decided to form a task force to carry forward the mission of building a disaster and pandemic resilient Odisha.
“This will be our biggest preparation for future emergencies. We will train our people at large on how to deal with known emergencies and how to respond to situations where the outcome cannot be predicted,” resolved the council of ministers.
The move assumed significance as Odisha faces natural disasters like flood and cyclones almost every alternate year which could be because of its geographical position.
Hailed as a leader state in disaster preparedness, Naveen said Odisha’s model of disaster management is now recognized the world over for its efficiency and humane approach. Naveen added that since March 2020, a new dimension in state’s experience of disasters has been added-the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Globally, most countries have been severely affected by this pandemic in multiple waves and are yet to come to terms with the situation. Return to normalcy is still a challenge. Nobody is able to predict how many more variants or waves of infection humanity will have to face before we are able to successfully control the virus. It’s a reality we all have to accept and be prepared,” said the chief minister.
Underlining his government’s preparedness to deal with the pandemic and to protect people, Naveen said in spite of all the challenges, they are confident that they will emerge victorious in this crisis with the cooperation of the people of the state.
While Naveen’s fifth term started with restoration of services devastated by cyclone Fani, the state government has also dealt with two more cyclones and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite challenges, the chief minister highlighted some of the transformative steps taken by his government in the past two years including Mo Sarkar feedback system, investment of over Rs 8,500 crores in development of healthcare infrastructure, Rs 1,000 crore for sports infrastructure, transformation of high schools, development of iconic heritage sites and empowerment of farmers and women.
“We have been working very hard to live up to the expectations and fulfil all our commitments,” said Naveen.
Educationists welcome the decision to include disaster preparedness in school curriculum.