Saturday, January 24, 2009


1. Basic Training Course
The Basic Training Course includes training Disaster Management Volunteers (DMVs) in the finer aspects of first-aid with the objective of saving lives until proper medical assistance arrives. Apart from the first-aid techniques the training course also covers information on all possible kinds of disasters and ways to effectively respond to them. This includes natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, cyclones, famines, drought, etc. and man made disasters such as bomb blast, communal riots etc., as also nuclear, biological and chemical warfare, which have come to pose a genuine and serious threat to the very survival of mankind and civilization.
The training course also includes practical sessions that teach the participants various Rescue Methods, Cardio- Pulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation (CPCR techniques), Fire fighting etc. These training courses are offered free of cost. The Academy has so far successfully trained more than forty-thousand citizens, many of whom have become DMVs. ‘The Textbook of Disaster Management’ prepared by the Academy has proved to be of great help in training the average citizen on how to effectively face disaster situations. The basic aim of this disaster management course is to teach a person to save one’s life first in order to be able to save other people’s lives. 2. Natural Disasters
When Mumbai and in fact the entire state of Maharashtra was caught unawares in the grip of the floods caused by the torrential rains of 26th July 2005, the disaster management team of AADM reached out to several places within and outside Mumbai to assist the local administration and the police in the rescue operations. The efforts put in by the DMVs of AADM during the rescue operations was greatly appreciated and was acknowledged in the form of an invitation to participate in the ‘Monsoon Disaster Plan (2007)’ launched by the municipal authorities of Mumbai. The heavy showers in July 2007 too led to floods in several areas of Mumbai. The AADM, adhering to its basic objective, rushed its DMVs to the sites where flooding had occurred and helped regulate traffic and transport people to safety. In doing so, the DMVs adopted innovative techniques, such as making rafts from used plastic bottles, for ferrying people to safety. Landslides like the one that occurred at Saki Naka, Mumbai on 26th July 2005, are instances of disasters, that require trained human intervention. The DMVs played a major role in assisting the local authorities, fire brigade and police in extricating bodies that were trapped in the rubble of the landslide and also helped in saving lives, under extremely challenging conditions.
Being trained in handling incidents of fire, the DMVs extend help and first aid, as they did at Jogeshwari (a fire at the office of Fairdeal Corporation Ltd.) and Sakinaka (fire caused by short circuit at Hansa Ind. Estate) in Mumbai on 26th January, 2006 and 6th July, 2006, respectively.
3. Man-Made Disasters
In the recent past, the city of Mumbai has been witness to acts of terrorism by way of bomb blast, in which many an innocent life has been lost. The serial blast in the suburban train compartments of the Western Railway on 11th July 2006, sent a wave of panic among the citizens. The DMVs promptly reached the various sites and assisted the authorities in rescuing people from the debris and transporting the injured as well as the dead bodies to nearby hospitals. The DMVs also actively participated in the relief work following the bomb blast in Mumbai at Ghatkopar on 2.12.02 and at Mumbai Central on 6.12.02; they not only helped transport victims to local hospitals but also helped their relatives to complete the registration formalities at the hospital.
4. Crowd Control during Festivals
Fairs and festivals at religious places attract crowds in large numbers and from regions far and wide. The DMVs help the police and local authorities in controlling and regulating the crowds queuing up for darshan, as also in the channels where large crowd movement takes place. In the year 2005, during the annual festival fair at Mandhardevi, satara, a huge stampede occurred and nearly 250 people lost their lives. DMVs from the nearby centers (males as well as females) rushed to the disaster site immediately and commenced rescue operations. DMVs carried the dead bodies to a safe place with the help of ropes and other specialized techniques. Female DMVs also actively helped the hospital staff in receiving and attending to the patients/dead bodies.
Apart from this, DMVs had also helped in managing the angry and panicking crowd around the hospital.
This seva was appreciated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh as well as the Dy. Chief Minister Shri R.R.Patil, who personally met the DMVs and appreciated the seva.
The DMVs of the AADM have been invited on a regular basis to manage crowd of bhaktas at the annual festival of Jyotiba, at the Kumbh Mela and at the Mandhardevi fair for the last 3 years. AADM also offers, on a regular basis, seva at the Shree Siddhivinayak temple (Prabhadevi, Mumbai) on the day of ‘Sankashta Chaturthi’ and during the ‘Navaratri festival’ at Mahalakshmi temple (Mahalakshmi, Mumbai).
Moreover, since the past two years, AADM has been offering crowd control seva at the Mount Mary Fair organized annually at the Mount Mary Church, Bandra. At each of these venues, the Academy also sets up a well-equipped medical counter to take care of any medical emergencies.
The Ganesh Chaturthi festival celebrated in Maharashtra has certain specific days for the immersion of idols. On these days the DMVs help the civic authorities and play a major role in the management of the massive gatherings. On the request of the Fire Brigade, for the past two years DMVs of the Academy are being posted in the immediate vicinity of at least 22 different immersion spots of Navi Mumbai in order to control & regulate the huge crowds that gather on the occasion of immersion.
5. Lord Ganesh Idols re-immersion seva
Lord Ganesh idols are usually made of plaster of Paris and, therefore, take a long time to completely dissolve in water. Consequently, these idols are washed back to the shore, which is certainly not a pleasant sight to behold. The DMVs, alongwith the volunteers of its sister organization Shree Aniruddha Upasana Foundation, then undertake the re-immersion of such idols in the deeper waters with the help of boats. The beaches are also fully cleaned and spruced up with infrastructural support from the Municipal authorities by way of garbage vans, equipments, etc.
6. Training for the Police Force at Nandurbar
AADM conducted a workshop on 10th Feb 2008 for the police force on the invitation of the Superintendent of Police-Nandurbar. The workshop was attended by the Superintendent, the Deputy Superintendent, 38 other officers and 150 police personnel. The session dealt with basic issues such as the meaning and implications of a disaster as also related vital issues like first aid, Cardio-Pulmonary Cerebral Resuscitation (CPCR), transportation of casualties, applying bandages and tying knots. Practical demonstrations complemented the explanation and facilitate understanding on the part of trainees.
Pleased with this comprehensive workshop, the Superintendent of Police requested that the
AADM conduct a similar training course for the entire police force in the region. It was then decided that two batches per week would avail of the training that began on 3rd May 2008. The course had an organized pattern of theory lectures in the morning sessions, lectures and demonstrations based on rescue methods in the afternoon sessions; ending with practice segments of rescue methods for trainees in the evenings, of which First-aid and CPCR also formed part. Stress, being a predictable consequence of disaster, the training in disaster management would not be complete without training in stress management. The naamasamaran, unconditional faith in the bhagavanta, patience and fortitude were, therefore, emphasized upon in this segment.
The Superintendent of Police then instructed that the entire staff of all police stations avail of this training. Convinced about its vitality, the District Collector – Nandurbar, made arrangements for training sessions at Nandurbar and Shahada.
Considering the frequency of disaster both man-made and natural, these courses will surely go a long way in equipping us to successfully face and manage disasters.
7. Vermiculture and Pulse Polio Vaccination drive
Vermiculture means artificial cultivation of earthworms. Vermicompost is the excreta of earthworms which is considered as one of the most effective and environment friendly fertilizers, without any harmful side effects. Earthworms eat cow dung and other solid wastes like household garbage and give out vermicompost. Municipal waste and non-toxic solid and liquid waste generated by industries can also similarly be converted into vermicompost. Earthworms not only convert garbage into valuable manure but also keep the environment healthy. The conversion of garbage by earthworms into compost and the multiplication of earthworms are simple processes and can be easily carried out even at one’s residence.
With P.P. Aniruddha Bapu’s blessings and inspiration, the vermiculture project is currently being run successfully by the AADM.
The project was first started at the residence of volunteers, who created vermiculture bins from household items and with an initial ‘seed’ provided by the Academy. The efforts yielded large amounts of vermicompost by feeding the earthworms with the day to day household garbage/waste. After a specified duration, the entire vermicompost and vermiwash so generated is handed over by the volunteers to the Academy. The vermicompost is also used for the tree plantation activity carried out by the Upasana Centers throughout the state of Maharashtra.
Till date, approx. 15 tonnes of vermicompost have been distributed amongst needy farmers, absolutely free of cost. That amounts to conversion of a total of 60 tonnes of waste into vermicompost.
AADM conducted a large scale project of vermiculture at the Central Railway Workshop (Mumbai) using their canteen and garden waste. This project was hugely appreciated by the local civic bodies as well as by the corporate sector. The team which implemented this project now acts as a training team for setting up such projects on a large scale, as well as on a small scale (i.e. at the household level) and upon request, also offers consultancy to various housing societies, public institutions, the corporate sector, school, colleges, etc..
Following is the list of places where the AADM has conducted Vermiculture Training sessions:
SEBI, Naval Dockyard (Colaba), Central Railway Workshop (Matunga), FDC Ltd. (Jogeshwari), Maharashtra State Bank, DIL Ltd. (Thane), Bhavans College (Andheri), IES School (Marol), Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan Vidyalaya, Thane Mahanagar Palika School etc.
The basic aims and objectives of this project are:
1) Working towards a better environment by disposing off garbage and waste in a productive manner.
2) Production of vermicompost through Vermiculture technology which can be put to effective use for:
· Tree plantation project
· The supply of the produce to the drought prone areas and to needy farmers.
Pulse Polio Vaccination
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus. It attacks the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age, but mainly affects children under the age of three (accounting for over 50% of all cases). There is no cure for polio; it can only be prevented through immunization. The polio vaccine, administered in multiple doses, at monthly intervals almost always protects a child for life.
The polio virus generally spreads through contaminated water. As there is lack of awareness about the importance of hygiene in our country, polio tends to spread at a faster rate. Thus, to make children immune to polio and to eradicate it completely from our city/country, the Brihanmumbai Mahanagarpalika / Govt of India has, from time to time, undertaken Pulse Polio Vaccination drives, wherein every child below six years of age is administered polio vaccine every month for a specified period.
In may 2005, the Brihanmumbai Mahanagarpalika asked AADM to provide volunteers for its vaccination programme. Since then, AADM has been regularly providing volunteers for this pulse polio vaccination seva.
This seva is carried out on a Sunday of every month (as decided by BMC). The vaccinations are provided by BMC, and a trained Doctor provides guidance to the volunteers about the usage of medicine and the necessary precaution to be taken while giving the vaccine to the children. The DMVs provide seva at pulse polio booths, which are usually situated at railway platforms and at areas having maximum crowd density; the idea being to cover the maximum number of children and to make every child free from polio. DMVs from Mumbai and also from areas like Thane, Kalyan-Dombivali, and Navi Mumbai have been actively participating in the Pulse Polio Vaccination Drive.
8. Proposed Projects of AADM
In addition to above mentioned ongoing projects, the AADM is also working on various other projects such as reduction and eventual eradication of the plastic menace (for spreading awareness about the ill-effects of the excessive use of plastic/plastic bags and to promote the use of paper bags), Leprosy Awareness (for spreading awareness about leprosy and eradicating various myths and misconceptions in people’s minds regarding leprosy), HIV Aids Awareness (for making people aware and forewarning them about this most dangerous and fast-spreading virus), study on Industrial Disasters (for studying various reasons for occurrence of disasters in industrial sector and the prevention methods).
With the world gradually spiraling towards a phase of confrontation, fuelled by political, ideological and parochial differences, coupled with the increasing incidence of natural disasters, the AADM finds itself on the threshold of an extremely challenging future, a challenge that it is gearing itself up to meet, with the inspiration and blessings of Param Poojya Sadguru Shree Aniruddha Bapu.