Published: 26th July 2021
Kerala's youth action force will soon see a leap in number of volunteers
The number of volunteers will go up from the present 2750 to 15,000 in the current financial year
The Kerala Voluntary Youth Action Force for disaster response is poised for a big expansion. The number of volunteers will go up from the present 2750 to 15,000 in the current financial year, as per the plan of the Kerala State Youth Welfare Board which formed the force.
The board also plans to form a core team of twenty-five members who will be given specialised training of international standards. The strengthening and expansion of the force would be a priority of the new board members to be appointed by the government shortly. The KVYAF was formed after the catastrophic floods in 2018 when the government felt that public participation in disaster response was important, especially during big adverse events. The force which works as district-level teams were of help to the government during emergencies like the Pettimudi landslide. The team members also participated in the COVID-19 relief activities.
"The volunteers participated in the rescue operations at Pettimudi till the end. They were of real help to the fire force and the police. The volunteers pooled in from Idukki and their familiarity with the local terrain helped," said KSYWB's member-secretary Prasannakumar VD. Over half of the action force are medical professionals who participated in the COVID-19 treatment in different districts. The medical professionals, 1672 of them, include doctors, nurses, para-medical staff and technicians. The team members assisted the health department in giving treatment to people living in some remote areas like Kanthalloor and Vattavada in Idukki.
During the lockdown the KSYAF launched 'medicine cart' to supply medicines and essentials to people during the recent lockdown. Over 5,000 people benefited from it . Besides, the team members are assisting district administrations in COVID-19- control, prevention and relief activities like community kitchen and arranging funerals of the dead. The members of the action force are given training in various disaster response activities. They topics range from scuba diving to rock climbing, first aid and fire emergencies.