BHUBANESWAR: Members of the Fire Safety Team of Vedanta Ltd, Jharsuguda, trained some of their brave women employees to identify potential fire hazards, respond to fire calls, take appropriate and effective action in case of fire, and improve fire safety conditions in the region, in a special programme titled ‘Agnivahini’.
The idea of the programme was initiated with the thought that fire prevention is not a men’s world, and women have a significant role to play in ensuring fire safety of their homes and the society. According to Abhijit Pati, CEO – Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda, “The world is increasingly seeing the true power of women, who they are and what they can achieve. As they rise and firmly establish their capable footprints in myriad sectors, ‘safety’ remains a domain that needs involvement of more women today.”
“We feel an immense sense of responsibility in pioneering the concept of an all-women fire fighting team. Every new person who is knowledgeable and trained in fire safety is an asset of national importance and we are proud to pitch in our efforts towards the same,” he added.
In the current scenario, home/residential fires have been known to constitute a major chunk of reported fires, and a majority of them arise from carelessness or ignorance amongst the residents. In fact, fire ranks fifth in the risk ranking of India Risk Survey 2017 report published by Pinkerton & FICCI.
On the basis the latest report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 18,450 cases of fire were reported in India in 2015, of which the cause-wise analysis of fire accidents concluded that nearly 42% of deaths were due to fire accidents in residential buildings.
Agnivahini aims to bring forth the hidden fighter in every woman, increase their level of understanding of various causes and types of fire, and prepare them to act effectively and efficiently in emergency situations. As on date, 46 women from 2 batches of Agnivahini have already graduated from the program and currently, the third batch is undergoing training.
Started in 2018, every fiscal half year (April-September and October-March), two Agnivahini training programs are conducted by the fire afety team of Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda. The call for nominations to the program are answered by brave and spirited women from across the operation, who then undergo rigorous and exacting trainings over a period of 3 months following which they have to qualify uncompromising assessments before they are certified as members of Agnivahini.
“Agnivahini is our dream project, and it stands testimony to the fact that women are integral to building a fire-safe culture. Given the rising incidence of fires all over the world, it is of great importance that every woman, man and child is aware of the potential hazards and is at east adequately trained to prevent and combat fires,” a member said.
Initially, Agnivahini was intended to support the Fire Safety team in identifying potential fire hazards, conducting fire prevention audits, fighting fires effectively if breakouts happen, and generally aid in improving the fire preparedness and safety quotient of Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda.
Within a year, Agnivahini set its eyes on a bigger picture – to work with the Jharsuguda community and make the district fire safe. Starting March (this month), the Agnivahini squad will target schools, villages and the town to impart fire safety (prevention and basic firefighting) training sessions to children and adults alike.