Days after the Valley received heavy snowfall, disconnecting several regions from the mainland, University of Kashmir's National Service Scheme (NSS) wing and the divisional commisioner office's disaster management cell on Saturday held a one-day programme on disaster management and preparedness.
The programme was aimed at highlighting the 'Role of NSS volunteers in Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation' to encourage NSS volunteers and NSS programme officers of the Valley to work towards minimising the risk of disaster.
Speaking on the occasion, Kashmir divisional commissioner Shailendra Kumar laid stress on pre-emptive measures and effective collaboration among government agencies, voluntary groups and educational institutions to spread awareness about disaster preparedness and mitigation.
He added, "The NSS should educate people, particularly children in schools, colleges and universities, about disaster management."
Kumar said to start with, each school, college and university may adopt one or two villages or towns in the neighborhood, and start an awareness programme at the grassroots level to sensitise the population in these areas towards the importance of disaster preparedness and mitigation procedures.
"These can prove very effective in minimising the loss of life and property in these areas at the time of disaster," he added.
Personnel of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) conducted a mock drill on the campus to drive home the various precautionary measures and steps to be followed during floods to minimise loss of life and property.
"We form a big team, so we have greater responsibility towards making the society aware of various kinds of disasters and their consequences, and the best way to achieve this goal is organising more such programmes and mock drills," said vice-chancellor Prof Talat Ahmad.
He added that such initiatives, aimed at mobilising public support and awareness by bringing all stakeholders on to a single platform, were "always effective", and it was very important to involve youths in such programmes, as they were "harbingers of change, and their participation could bring a positive change in the society".