A new army is on the rise in Kerala. This army of youngsters, which does not wear any uniform or insignia, was in the limelight during the devastating floods that hit the state in August this year. In an initiative to encourage more youth to combat natural disasters and to train them in different areas of becoming responsible citizens, the Kerala State Youth Welfare Board (KSYWB) will launch the Kerala Voluntary Youth Action Force (KVYAF) on December 19.
With the aim to build an army of 1,00,000 persons in the force, an official from the KSYWB told TNM that as of Monday, around 86,000 youngsters have registered to be a part of the force. Anyone belonging in the age group of 15 to 30 can join the KVYAF by registering using the link provided in the Youth Welfare Board website.
Speaking to TNM, an official from the Youth Welfare Board, who did not wish to be named, said that this is an initiative supported by the Kerala Government as well as the youth welfare board of the state.
“The youth of this state are our biggest assets and their services during the floods have been lauded across the world. Without any requests, they took it upon themselves to help each other with the rescue operations, to volunteer in relief camps as well as to form social media information groups,” the official said.
The volunteers will be trained not only in disaster management. The action force will be divided into five ‘armies’ - environmental conservation army, water conservation army, waste disposal army, road protection army and the disaster management army.
Initially, the registered volunteers will be divided into six groups and each group will be given training in all the different areas in an academy in Munnar. After the training, the volunteers will be divided into the five ‘armies’ based on their calibre and interests.
The official said that experts will give the volunteers both physical training and mental conditioning.
The volunteers will be trained in handling various situations during the time of a disaster as well as in spreading awareness about issues such as road safety, environmental pollution and so on.
The KVYAF will be inaugurated by the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on December 19 at the Nishagandhi auditorium in Thiruvananthapuram.