India Emerged As First Responder In Humanitarian Assistance And Disaster Relief: Chief Of Defence Staff

New Delhi, Mar 14: India has emerged as the first responder in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) at the global level, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Anil Chauhan said on March 14.
Gen. Chauhan said this in a virtual message at a workshop organised by the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) of the Ministry of Defence as part of India’s chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
It was attended by speakers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Belarus, Mongolia, Pakistan and China along with representation from Russia in the virtual mode, the defence ministry said.
“In keeping with our cultural beliefs of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — the whole world is one family — India has been playing an important role in providing HADR in the region and beyond,” Gen. Chauhan said, citing India’s HADR operations in the region and beyond.
He said the timely launch of ‘Operation Dost’ following the recent earthquake in Turkey is a testimony to India’s willingness to extend help to all possible corners of the globe.
The CDS added that collective approach is essential to mitigate the consequences of disasters and with this objective India has been holding multilateral exercises with various countries and multilateral organisations such as the HADR exercise PANEX 21 for BIMSTEC members at Pune in 2021, SMANVAY 22 for ASEAN members in Agra in 2022.
“By strengthening multilateral partnerships through engagement via regional mechanisms, improved interoperability, and faster response, we have played our role as the first responder in the region,” Gen Chauhan said.
The CDS further said that armed forces along with dedicated organisational structure are often the first responders in the event of any disaster.
Air Marshal B.R. Krishna, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee inaugurated the workshop.
He urged the member states to develop capability and capacities of their national organizations to make them capable of mitigating loss of life and property during natural calamities.
The objective of the workshop is to exchange information and share the best practices on risk reduction and resilience, integration of Armed Forces in a regional response and disaster infrastructure and for promoting global collaboration among SCO members.
“The main goals of SCO are strengthening mutual trust and neighborliness among the member states, promoting the effective cooperation in politics, trade, economy, technology and culture as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection and other areas,” the ministry said.
“Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order,” it said. (Agencies)