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Doctors plan 'Disaster Management Cell"

A team of doctors and social workers, constituting the Mysore Medical Relief Society, have proposed a 'Disaster Management Cell' to provide timely medical relief and help at times of disaster and calamities in Mysore.

As a first step in this direction, a training programme in first aid and home nursing began here today (August 29). Around 50 boys and girls have volunteered to undergo the training. The St. John's Ambulance is associating with the training programme. The services of the trained men will be availed during all major incidents.

The need for such a disaster management cell was realised by these medical men and social workers when precious lives of film actors, technicians and workers were lost in Mysore's major fire accident a few years ago in the Premier Studios, when a Hindi film, 'The Sword of Tipu Sultan', was being shot. Over 20 men and women perished in the devastating fire. In another fire mishap earlier, a portion of the famous Devaraja Market was gutted destroying lakhs of rupees worth of property. The fire tenders could not extinguish the fire, as it could not enter into the market, built during Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, in the heart of the city. The recent shocks of tremors felt in Mysore, in the wake of the devastating Gujarat earthquake, also added to the need for creating a pool of medical equipment and trained personnel at voluntary level to assist in rescue and relief. The increasing road accidents in and around Mysore are another factor that calls for such a cell.

The Mysore Medical Relief Society, functioning since 1986, has now decided to expand its activities from just organising free medical camps. By setting up the Disaster Management Cell, it has planned a list of voluntary blood donors, provide ambulance service, make available medicines and artificial limbs, conduct medical check-up of pregnant women, children and school students, and set up a blood bank.

Inaugurating the first aid training programme, Mysore's Police Commissioner Mr. C. Chandrasekhar said organised voluntary efforts would be of immense help at times of accidents and natural disasters, in saving life and property. He complimented the busy medical men of Mysore for coming forward to set up the much-needed cell. Reminding the Devaraja Market fire mishap, leading Industrialist Mr. R.Guru suggested to the Institution of Engineers, which is also associated with the training programme, to prepare a map for Mysore City on disaster management. Institution of Engineers' Chairman Mr. A.L.Puttaswamy said disaster management is being covered in the 'Vision 2020' plan being drafted for Mysore City.

Dr. Sanjeev Kunnatur, a leading ophthalmologist, is the President and Dr.S.P.Thirmuala Rao, another practicing doctor and veteran consumer activist, is the Honorary Secretary of the Mysore Medical Relief Society. Donations to the Society qualify for Income Tax exemption under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Its address: The Hon. Secretary, Mysore Medical Relief Society, 1138/3, Narayana Sastry Road, Devaraja Mohalla, Mysore-570 001. Phone: 0821-510443.

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