Rescue Relief & Disaster Mitigation

Rescue Relief & Disaster Mitigation

As a Trainee Officer (1979), he was tasked with the responsibility of carrying out rescue and relief work for the mammoth disaster in Morbi resulting from the complete breach of Machhu Dam that submerged a township of 80,000 people and led to large-scale destruction of life and property. He spent several months in this totally inaccessible town, extracted and cremated dead bodies and rehabilitated the survivors by putting together primary infrastructure for their survival ie ration shops, food, oil, and employment. This assignment right at the beginning of his career gave him a deep insight into the issues of disaster management and saving human lives by appropriate administrative action.

As the DDO – Baroda, when a village called Tundav in Savli taluka, was struck by Cholera he sprung into action instantaneously, ensuring collection of sufficient funds for the purchase of glucose and saline, sourcing these essentials from medical stores from the entire area on a holiday, converting a school into a make-shift 100-bed hospital and ensuring the patients’ lives were saved with the administration of required drip in good time besides arranging to send others to nearby hospital facilities using whatever vehicles available, including his own official car. This was another incidence where he successfully saved human lives with appropriate administrative action.

At the time of Gujarat Earthquake in 2001, he was appointed as the Officer on Special Duty to manage rescue and relief work from Mumbai. He set up Gujarat Earth Quake Relief Cell & established many control rooms in Mumbai and worked relentlessly to take custody of the relief materials coming through various commercial and cargo flights as also the ships from different parts of the world. It was also required to facilitate huge numbers of volunteers descending on Mumbai from various countries who needed assistance and guidance for reaching places requiring rescue & relief.

He took over complete control of the relief activities through the Indian Air Force and various organs of the Civil Aviation Department viz. Air India, Indian Airlines, Airport Authority which transported goods and patients to and fro Kutchh and organised end-to-end logistics for all those.

He was also responsible for co-ordinating relief activities that were extended by 45000 Kutchhi families for people living in Kutchh. He co-ordinated with the various NGOs and Civil Society Organisations for the work they needed to do in Kutchh. He mobilized support for the relief work by co-ordinating with all the major industry houses in Mumbai. He met and interacted with the various consul generals’ of different countries regarding matters of collaboration between their countries and India for carrying out rescue and relief work in Gujarat.