Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Saturday decided to include disaster and pandemic management in high school and college curriculums.

A resolution in this regard was passed at a meeting of the Council of Ministers, chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The Council of Ministers said it felt that everyone in the state should be well prepared to face the challenges posed by disasters such as frequent cyclones, and also the pandemic.

There was a time when Odisha was the subject of pity for facing calamities and losing lives to disasters but today, the Odisha model of disaster management draws global admiration, the resolution said.

The centre of this transformation is the state’s deep conviction, and the disaster preparedness is rooted in community involvement, it said.

“The time has come for us to create a massive knowledge infrastructure in the state that will make everyone a warrior. Today, we are taking a futuristic decision. We will train our people at large on how to deal with known emergencies and how to respond to situations where the outcome cannot be predicted,” the chief minister said.

From now on, every high school and college student will learn about disaster and pandemic management as part of the curriculum, he said.

The state will also train its employee on the fundamental nature of different kinds of disaster and pandemic management. Disaster and pandemic management will be in the government recruitment syllabus as well, Patnaik said.

Elected representatives will be trained on disaster and pandemic management, he said.

Besides, the government will train members of Mission Shakti groups, Vana Surakya Samitis, and other community-based organisations and equip them with the knowledge required to manage disasters and pandemics, he said.

The Council of Ministers has resolved to make Odisha a leading state in disaster preparedness, ready to tackle any disaster — whether it is biological or climatic, Patnaik said.

“Basically the objective is to have a ‘Yodha’ (warrior) in every home of Odisha,” the chief minister said.

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

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