Hit by Covid and cyclone at the same time, the Odisha government has decided to equip its citizens with adequate knowledge and skills to deal with any future disaster — biological or climate. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday informed that his council of ministers has passed a resolution with an objective to create a ‘Yodha in every house of Odisha’.

The resolution says that the Covid has created a new reality for everyone. And unlike a cyclone that comes and goes, it says, the pandemic has brought in two new dimensions of human crisis. 

Also Read | Cyclone Yaas leaves behind damaged homes, flooded farmlands

“One is the inability to put a timeline as to when crisis will move on. The second is the way crises may assume a new and unexpected form.” And for this, the resolution adds the time has come for the government to create a massive knowledge infrastructure that will make everyone a warrior who can deal with disaster. The resolution lists a set of initiatives that the government will take to create a fighter in every home. 

Also Read | Odisha reports 7,216 new Covid-19 cases, 33 deaths in 24 hours

What Odisha will do to create Yodha in every house 

  • Will train people at large on how to deal with known emergencies and how to respond to situations where the outcome cannot be predicted. 
  • Will train every government employee on the fundamental nature of different kinds of disaster and pandemic management. 
  • From now on, every high school and college student will learn about disaster and pandemic management as part of the curriculum.   
  • Will train every government employee on the fundamental nature of different kinds of disaster and pandemic management.  
  • Government jobs and recruitment will have a mandatory syllabus on disaster and pandemic management. 
  • Will train members of mission shakti groups, Vana Surakaya Samitis, and other community based organisations and equip them with the knowledge required to manage disaster and pandemics.  
  • From ward members to chief ministers, everyone will be trained on disaster and pandemic management. 

Towards these goals, the resolution says the council of ministers resolved to undertake a detailed training programme to equip citizens with adequate knowledge and skills in disaster and pandemic management.

For this purpose, a task force will be formed to carry forward this mission of building a disaster and pandemic resilient Odisha. 

The decision comes just days after cyclone Yaas hit the state, leaving behind a trail of destruction in the coastal region of Odisha. The cyclone hit the state at a time when it was reeling under the unprecedented second wave of Covid-19. Odisha is vulnerable to cyclones and harsh weather conditions due to its geographical location near the Arabian sea. 

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