Bal Raksha Bharat and Zee Entertainment Provide Drone to Himachal SDMA for Critical Medical Deliveries

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Chamba: Bal Raksha Bharat and Zee Entertainment have successfully handed over a state-of-the-art drone to the Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) to enhance disaster-response capabilities in the region. This drone, designed to deliver essential medical supplies to remote and flood-affected areas, marks a significant step forward in ensuring timely aid during emergencies.

The official handover ceremony in Chamba was chaired by Mukesh Repaswal, IAS, Deputy Commissioner Chamba, and Shri. D.C. RANA, IAS, Director cum Special Secretary, State Disaster Management Authorities. Representatives from Zee Entertainment, Bal Raksha Bharat, and various district and state officials participated, symbolizing their commitment to enhancing disaster preparedness and healthcare delivery in Himachal Pradesh.

While speaking on the occasion Mukesh Repaswal, IAS, Deputy Commissioner Chamba, shared, “We are grateful to all three organizations, Bal Raksha Bharat, Zee Entertainment and Himachal Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) for handling over the state-of-the-art drone to enhance disaster response capabilities in the region. This drone carrying a weight of around 20 kg, will help us concentrate on our disaster management systems and help strengthen our system efficiently in the region of Chamba”.

Speaking on the occasion, Sudarshan Suchi, CEO, Bal Raksha Bharat, added, “We are immensely proud to contribute this cutting-edge technology to Himachal Pradesh SDMA. The drone will not only enhance disaster response but also ensure that essential medical supplies reach the most remote and vulnerable communities in times of need. This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to leveraging technology for humanitarian aid and strengthening the resilience of health infrastructure in disaster-prone areas.”

The project, titled “Strengthening and Enabling Primary Health Facilities to Deal with Impairments Caused by Flood-like Disaster Situations,” was initiated in response to the devastating flash floods and cloudbursts that hit the Mandi and Solan districts in July and August 2023. These disasters affected approximately 1,25,000 people, including over 36,000 children, and resulted in over 400 fatalities. The financial impact was estimated at ₹10,000 crore, with extensive damage to infrastructure, including the destruction of 232 houses and partial damage to 1,127 others. The project aimed to ensure that primary health facilities in flood-affected areas remain operational and capable of providing necessary healthcare services during and immediately after disasters. Running from October 11, 2023, to March 31, 2024, the project focused on upgrading health facility infrastructure, enhancing disaster preparedness, and employing technology to facilitate the delivery of essential medical supplies to remote and isolated areas.

In light of these challenges, Zee Entertainment and Bal Raksha Bharat launched this project to ensure that primary health facilities in the affected areas could remain operational and capable of providing essential healthcare services during and immediately after such disasters. 

One of the major accomplishments of this initiative was the enhancement of health infrastructure. A thorough needs assessment of 15 health facilities in the Mandi and Solan districts led to significant repair and restoration efforts at 10 key locations. These improvements included the retrofitting of toilets, electrical repairs, structural enhancements and implementation of Building Learning Environment (BLE) initiatives with public health awareness artwork. These upgradations were crucial in strengthening the structural resilience and operational capability of the health facilities thereby ensuring provision for uninterrupted healthcare services.

Disaster preparedness was another critical area of focus. Facility-level preparedness plans were developed for all 15 health centres and 15 nearby communities, incorporating inputs from various stakeholders including Community Health Officers, Medical Officers and community representatives. Mock drills were conducted at these facilities, engaging 1,075 community members and involving the participation of local disaster management authorities, company commandants, home guards, and fire services. Sensitization workshops and capacity-building sessions were held, reaching over 180 health officials and frontline workers. These activities equipped them with essential skills for managing health and nutrition during emergencies, significantly enhancing the community’s overall readiness for future disasters.

The integration of this innovative technology into the disaster response framework will significantly improve the region’s capacity to deliver critical supplies to remote areas during emergencies, ensuring that even the most isolated communities receive timely aid.

Bal Raksha Bharat will continue to support the government in the use of the drone independently. Drone training will be facilitated by a Director General for Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved agency, ensuring that government staff are well-equipped to operate the drone.