The 58th Raising Day celebrations of the Civil Defence and Home Guards were held in Shillong and Tura today.
“We are here to serve and not be served,” Commandant General of Home Guards and Director of Civil Defence, AR Mawthoh, said during his speech in Mawdiangdiang, Shillong.
The department has a foothold in all 11 districts of Meghalaya as the government has sanctioned eight additional posts of Deputy Controllers of Civil Defence and staff for new district Home Guards training centres in Nongpoh, Nongstoiñ, Mawkyrwat, Khliehriat, Williamnagar, Baghmara, Resubelpara and Ampati, he added.
“This will enable this department to increase its disaster response mechanism and contribute immensely in community capacity building in the whole state,” Mawthoh said.
The department trained 175 Home Guards volunteers and 2,140 Civil Defence volunteers in the last financial year and deployed 1,308 Home Guards to different agencies and 5,476 volunteers have been trained in disaster management up to November 2019.
Highlighting the activities of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Mawthoh said that the Force since its inception has done a very commendable job to save lives of people in distress by demonstrating professionalism, determination and hard work, countering multiple challenges with bravery.
“The SDRF has been vital in conducting search and rescue operations following natural disasters in the state. It was deployed along with the NDRF during Cyclone Fani, drowning cases at Umiam Lake, search and retrieval of bodies during mishaps at Nongshyrngan village, Umsohiong village, Umngot and Kyllang Rivers where the victims were swept away by the water currents,” he said.
Medals and commendations were also awarded to 26 different personnel by Mawthoh during the ceremony.