New Delhi, November 26: India on Thursday said it was a great opportunity for India to host first "South Asian Annual Disaster Management Exercise" (SAADMEx), which will now be hosted by rotation every year among the SAARC member countries.
This was said by The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh while speaking on the occasion of the Valedictory Session of the SAADMEx-2015 in New Delhi. Wherein, he also said that this event is important in the wake of recent disasters occurring in South Asia.
He said that India has faced many natural disasters in the recent years including Gujarat earthquake (2001), Sikkim Earthquake (2011), cyclone Phailin and Hudhud cyclone in coastal areas of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in the year 2013 and 2014.
He said that India could take preventive steps and reduce the loss of lives in case of cyclone Phailin because of the timely evacuation of people from the coastal areas.
Similarly human loss could be minimized in case of cyclone Hudhud because of precautionary and preventive measures. Disaster management occupies an important place in India’s policy as poor people are mainly affected by these disasters, he added.
Rajnath Singh said that India is always ready to help others in case of need. He said when earthquake hit Nepal on 25th April, 2015, Indian Government was able to send rescue teams within five hours of the earthquake. India is taking a lead role in this regard, he added.
He said that, given the recent incidents of disasters in South Asia, the SAADMEx has provided a platform for sharing the best practices in case of disasters.
He also said that national and regional policies should be based on good governance, information sharing and cooperation between institutions engaged in the task of risk reduction.
The Union Home Minister also presented mementos and certificates to the delegate leaders and the head observers from the states.
Secretary General of SAARC, Arjun Bahadur Thapa, congratulated the members and said this is the first of its kind exercise in this region.
He appreciated the Government of India for engaging SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) in this noble exercise, which was set up in Delhi in 2006. This exercise will help in boosting morale of the delegates, he said.