New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) since its inception has saved over 1.47 lakh lives and evacuated more than seven lakh people from disaster-affected places across the country, said NDRF Director General SN Pradhan.
Speaking on an occasion while honouring the next of kin of NDRF personnel who sacrificed their lives during operations, at the National Police Memorial in New Delhi, Pradhan said that NDRF has set many examples of service and helped the citizens of the country during its dedicated duty.
Explaining challenges faced by the force this year, Pradhan said: "Like every time, this time too, NDRF has faced all kinds of challenges in this monsoon and is still doing it. This year NDRF took on double challenges. Along with covid, conditions like severe cyclones and floods were faced by the NDRF this year."
"The force acted professionally in evacuating and providing relief to the civilians due to the subsequent circumstances that arose in the country after floods," he added.
In 2006, NDRF was constituted with eight Battalions and it has a strength of over 12 Battalions with each Battalion consisting of 1,149 personnel at present. In the beginning, the personnel of NDRF were deployed for routine law and order duties also. In a meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with the Prime Minister on October 25, 2007, NDRF made a dedicated force for providing helping hand during disaster across the country. This led to the notification of NDRF Rules on February 14, 2008, making NDRF a dedicated force for disaster response related duties, under the unified command of DG NDRF.
Also reminding the sacrifice of NDRF's 12 personnel, the NDRF DG said NDRF personnel displayed indomitable courage, efficiency, determination, commitment and rescued thousands of pilgrims who were stranded in the hilly area in June 2013 Uttarakhand disaster.
"On June 25, 2013, nine NDRF personnel lost their lives in a helicopter accident while returing from the rescue operation. It was a very unfortunate incident. It remains an unprecedented day in the history of NDRF."
Besides, the officer said, one of our late colleagues Rajendra Gautam sacrificed his life while saving the life of a saint in Kumbh Mela in 2019.
In 2010, NDRF colleague Dinakar also lost his life during the COVID-19 period while serving his duty and another colleague this year lost his life while his attempt to put off a major fire in a forest in the Northeast, Pradhan said.
"We all humbly bow down to the sacrifice made by those martyrs for the country," he added.
Mentioning about the occasion, Pradhan said a severe earthquake occurred in Latur district of Maharashtra around 4 am on September 30, 1993, which measured 6.2 on the Richter scale.
"More than 10,000 people lost their lives and 30,000 were seriously injured in this earthquake. This program has been organized only to pay tribute to the people who lost their lives in that accident," he said. (ANI)