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Union Home Minister proposes Civil Defence revamp

Union Home Minister proposes Civil Defence revamp
Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh has called for revamping of the Civil Defence for making the organisation more effective during disasters and peacetime. Addressing the Raising Day function of Civil Defence and Home Guards here today, he said there is no doubt about the utility of the Civil Defence organisation and it has served the nation on numerous occasions earlier in times of natural and manmade disasters. “You were at the forefront in providing assistance to people during disasters”, said Shri Rajnath Singh. “But with changing times, there is a need to provide leadership role at Warden Level by giving opportunities to young blood in the organisation,” he added. The Union Home Minister said the Civil Defence Organisation should also perform proactive role in addition to the reactive role. “The recommendations made by the Group of Ministers after the Kargil War and other Committees could be looked into for the proposed revamping to improve the Civil Defence organisation.
How to make optimum use of Civil Defence should be examined”, he said. In this direction, he said measures like appointment of committed wardens, establishment of dedicated training institutions and making them financially sound can be examined. Shri Rajnath Singh asked officials of MHA, state police, NDRF and Civil Defence and Home Guards to examine the role and responsibilities of volunteers of Civil Defence and Home Guards for their optimum utilisation. The Home Minister appreciated Shri Sanjay Kumar, Director General, Civil Defence & Home Guards for organising the Raising Day and Medal Investiture ceremony at the national level for the first time. Shri Rajnath Singh presented one President’s Fire Service Medal for Gallantry, 9 Fire Service Medals for Gallantry, 17 President’s Fire Service Medals for Distinguished Service and 14 President’s Home Guard & Civil Defence Medals for Distinguished Service. He congratulated the medal winners and appreciated their role as immediate responders in emergency situations. Civil Defence can play a more active role at local level in community capacity building, disaster management and raising public awareness, he added. Shri Sanjay Kumar, DG, NDRF and DG, Civil Defence & Home Guards, Shri Kamal Kishore, Member NDMA and Shri Sanjeev Jindal, Joint Secretary, MHA also spoke on the occasion.
The aims of Civil Defence organisation are to save life, minimise damage to property, maintain continuity of production and to keep up the high morale of the public during hostile attacks whether during any war, external aggression, internal disturbances or otherwise and during emergencies arising out of calamities/disasters, whether natural or man-made. 75 % of the budget expenditure of Home Guards and Civil Defence, Haryana is borne by the State Government and the rest 25% is reimbursed by the Government of India. Home Guards is a Voluntary organisation. Home Guards performs duty in emergency and on the demand of the Police department for maintenance of law & order and other departments for Watch & Ward duty. They also work in the Civil Defence Organisation. There is greater role now sought of the civil defence and the Home Guards for assistance during disaster management and other crisis periods when the state capacity to deal with the same is stretched.

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