BANGALORE: When floods ravaged north Karnataka, bringing untold misery to the people, the hearts of several citizens in Bangalore went out for the suffering masses. But, about 25 able-bodied men were able to respond to the call of their conscience as they were volunteers registered with the Civil Defence Directorate of the State.
No sooner did reports about the extent of devastation caused by the floods reached them, the civil defence wardens got ready to go to Bagalkot district, which bore the brunt of the rain fury, in a bus provided by the directorate.“When we reached there on October 4, the tahsildar of Badami told us that the district administration had not been able to reach as many as 56 affected villages due to shortage of manpower. We split ourselves into groups of two volunteers each and accompanied one revenue official to the villages, took stock of the situation and arranged for providing relief material to the victims,” Shiv Anand, Divisional Warden, Bangalore Civil Defence, who led the team of volunteers, told The Hindu.
Apart from the relief material provided by the Government, the civil defence volunteers arranged for food items, clothes and tents in liaison with NGOs like Rotaract Club and Lions Club.
Apart from five divisional wardens, the group comprised volunteers, who included employees of multinational companies and students. “All of us just gave up our work, earnings and studies,” Mr. Shiv Anand said.
The 25 civil defence wardens were honoured by Director-General of Police, Home Guards and Fire Services, Jija M. Harisingh on the occasion of Civil Defence Day organised by the Directorate of Home Guards and Civil Defence on Wednesday.