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Emergency Response Units

Sensitization and orientation of National Service Scheme Programme Officers and Volunteers on Disaster Risk Reduction/Disaster Risk Management and establishment of an Emergency Response Unit (ERU) in Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur-19th July 2012

An Emergency Response Unit (ERU) is an important tool to enable organisations to prepare for disasters. ERU’s in Universities and academic institutions can productively channelize the great potential of students/youth by giving them specific training to make their contribution beneficial to the community around them and contribute to the disaster resilience of the community. The ERU’s in Universities and academic institutions provide planning, coordination and management of the Emergency Operations Plan during Natural and Man-made disasters that effect the faculty, staff, students and visitors to the University/academic institution and also provide support to the District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in emergency response, relief and rehabilitation.

In this backdrop of the felt need for the establishment of an ERU at an University/academic institution located in one of the vulnerable districts of Andhra Pradesh, a sensitization and orientation programme on DRR/DRM and establishment of an ERU was organized by Project Concern International in India as a part of its USAID-OFDA funded project Cross-sectoral strategies for risk reduction (CSR2x2)/strengthening local response networks. The programme was held at Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur with support of the National Service Scheme (NSS) Unit located in the University.

The success of the programme while being attributed to the active participation of the target group, is also seen from the participation from a large number of NSS Volunteers/students and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel. Though the programme was designed for a target group of 40 members limited to Programme Officers of 40 of the 300 NSS Units under the aegis of Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, 42 NSS Volunteers of the various campus based colleges and 24 personnel of the NDRF participated in the programme totaling up to 104 participants other than the officials of the University, disaster risk management experts, resource persons etc.

The success of the programme is also attributed to the dynamic leadership and organizational skills of the NSS Programme Coordination in Dr. Sumanth Kunda who is also the Asst. Professor in the Department of Zoology and is also seen from the active participation and support of the department heads of all the teaching and non-teaching departments located in the Acharya Nagarjuna University Campus including disaster risk management experts from various agencies of the Government-both the Government of Andhra Pradesh, District Disaster Management Authority, Guntur, the Government of India including State Non-government organisations and community based organisations based in Guntur district and a host of media organisations.

The importance given to this programme organized by PCI in India in association with the NSS Unit of Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur can be seen from the presence of the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. K. V. Rao and other administrative authorities of the University engaging themselves with the programme in various sessions throughout the day and overseeing the establishment of an ERU for the University campus based in the NSS Unit, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur.







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