India has often been called the epitome of the world.

The country with the longest peninsula, deserts to the West, salt flats in the Rann of Kutch, guarded by the mighty Himalayas in the North, dense forests in its bosom, fantastic grandeur in the seven sisters of the Northeast. Along with this bounty Nature has bestowed, comes natural disasters and calamities; a look at the list of disasters shows the devastation that wrecks India every year.

Unfortunately, Indians are mentally attuned to look for outside help to get them out of a problem they find themselves in. Almost no one is trained, equipped or prepared to face a survival situation and to assist rescue teams. By its very nature, it takes time for information to trickle in and often it is for days that people have to fend for themselves. If they are prepared and trained to be able to do so, their life would be easier, healthier and safer since they know what to do. The Indian authorities, the Armed Forces, the Police, NDRF, district administration and sundry other organisations provide exemplary service. They are trained in disaster management and evacuation. However, even if the emergency services kick into gear and evacuate the victim from the immediate disaster, the problem lingers for weeks or sometimes months after that. The survival situation continues. Homes have to be rebuilt, roads have to be constructed, the flattened fields have to be re-sown, what was a fresh drinking water source might be contaminated. The people facing the aftermath of a natural disaster continue to live in survival mode, long after the disaster has come and wrecked its havoc.

Now, we need to get trained in facing a disaster and its aftermath.

OTA Survival School is in conversation with various State Governments to conduct disaster readiness Courses in ecologically sensitive village and town clusters. If a team is trained in each village, they can become the core around which the population can gather around before rescue parties arrive. In fact, you could start your own Citizen Disaster Force (CDSF) in your locality and take control of the safety of your fellow citizens in times of disasters and calamities.

Do not believe in the unfounded superstition that problems only happen to other people ... they can happen to you.

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