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Welcome Address by Vice Chancellor, SNDT Women’s University

Welcome Address by Vice Chancellor,

SNDT Women’s University

Prof. Vasudha Kamat

Prof. Vasudha Kamat
Vice Chancellor, SNDTWU

Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra and Chancellor Sir, Shri. Vidyasagar Rao, Hon’ble Minister of Higher and Technical Education Shri. Vinod Tawde, Vice Chancellors of participating universities, Dr. Sanjay Chahande, Principle Secretary, Higher and Technical Education, Mr. Vikas Rastogi, Secretary to Hon’ble Governor Sir, NDRF Officers and trainers, Officers of SNDT Women’s University as well as all other participating Universities, Dr. Mane, Director of Higher Education and his team, invited guests, Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers who have been selected for this unique training programme of 10 days,

It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the inauguration ceremony of the inspiring training programme on Disaster preparedness aptly titled as Avhan, Challenge. The more than thousand delegates seating here will be known as Hon’ble Chancellor’s Brigade after 3rd June when they successfully complete training. We, at the university, feel especially happy when Hon’ble Chancellor visits us, as he is the Head of our Family. This year we are fortunate to have Hon’ble Chancellor Sir to inaugurate the Avhan-2015 hosted by SNDT Women’s University.

I greatly appreciate the concept of this training programme for three reasons.

  • Cooperation
  • Youth Power
  • NDRF (National Disaster Response Force)

Recently I read a Book titled “Super Cooperators: Evolution, Altruism and Human Behaviour” by Martin Nowak. He makes a point about going beyond the concept of “Selfish Gene” and emphasizes importance of cooperation for survival. These young delegates have volunteered to participate in the training to help others, provide helping hand to people in distressed situation itself proves the point. I also appreciate the role of their Programme Officers from all universities who constantly inculcate values like cooperation, collaboration, teamwork, support.

Second is the youth power,

Young people are often seriously affected when disasters strike and can face severe difficulties in coping with unexpected and traumatic interruptions to their lives. But despite this, the world’s youth are also the very people who can teach their communities -and the wider world- how to reduce the risks and impact of disasters. Young people are unmatched by any other demographic group in their ability to bring about meaningful change in social behaviour and attitudes. (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies). I am happy that our state is positively valuing potential of the youth to make a real difference in the time of disaster.

The NDRF is the third important partner in this endeavour who have made Indians proud through their tireless service in disaster situations. NDRF has trained more than 6.5 lakh community workers in disaster preparedness (I am happy to note that more 65000 of those are in Maharashtra. This number may have been increased). The programme chalked out for this training camp looks very impressive and challenging (After all the programme is titled as Avhan: the Challenge. I am sure all these young volunteers will prove us right)

As put it by Mr. Bekele Geleta, Secretary-General, International Federation
of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, “Disaster is not a Department: to reduce risk we must empower communities”. What is expected as an outcome of this 10 day training is reaching out to the community, making them aware and create disaster preparedness. I am sure NDRF expert trainers will achieve this target through the Youth Power.

I am especially happy and thankful to Hon’ble Chancellor for giving us the responsibility to host Avhan 2015, as it is a special year for us. SNDT Women’s University established by the great Social reformer Bharat Ratna Maharashi Dhondo Keshav Karve on July 5, 1916 will be celebrating its Centennial Year in 2015-16. As a precursor to this great celebration, I and my team at SNDT welcome you all to the inauguration ceremony of ten-day unique training programme on Disaster Preparedness.

I also welcome all the Vice Chancellors and officers of participating universities to visit the camp sites (there are three this time) whenever they find it convenient.

Thank you!
Prof. Vasudha Kamat, VC SNDTWU

Please Visit Inauguration Photo Gallery