In December 2022, MahaPECOnet, in collaboration with RedR India, organized a four-day residential training program in Pune, aimed at selected active members. The primary objective of the training was to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to become trainers who can train other community stakeholders. The focus was on applying and implementing techniques for community preparedness, relief, and response activities during disaster situations.

Following the completion of the thematic-led disaster management residential training, Harit Gram Seva Sanstha, a member of MahaPECOnet, approached Sagar Pathak, the District Disaster Management Officer, to initiate preliminary discussions on preparatory actions. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, emergency training was promptly initiated to equip the local community with essential skills. Mr. Rajendra Kadu, the Founder of Harit Gram Seva Sanstha, expressed interest in creating a separate batch to maximize the training reach for community stakeholders, as per the prescribed training criteria.

Harit Gram Seva Sanstha appealed to community members to participate in the Aapada Mitra training program, emphasizing the importance of taking immediate action to reduce risks and minimize the severity of damage in the event of a mishap in their locality. The response was encouraging, with a large number of young individuals participating in the training. Approximately 35 to 40 trainees benefited from this initiative, recognizing the significance of the training for their own safety.

The Aapada Mitra residential training program spanned a full 12 days and was conducted by two trainers. Participants expressed a desire for additional sessions, including topics related to health. The attendees acknowledged the benefits of the training kits and materials distributed upon completion of the program.

Rajendra Kadu, representing Harit Gram Seva Sanstha in Mahad Raigad, firmly believes in the importance of community engagement and preparedness in tackling disasters. Through the Aapada Mitra training initiative, the organization aims to empower individuals and communities to take proactive measures, reducing the impact of disasters and protecting lives and property.

Moving forward, MahaPECOnet and its partners remain committed to expanding and enhancing the training program, addressing the areas for improvement and incorporating additional sessions to cater to the specific needs of the community. By fostering a culture of preparedness and resilience, we can collectively build stronger and safer communities, capable of effectively responding to any future disasters.