Aniruddha's Academy of Disaster Management
Aniruddha's Academy of Disaster Management (AADM) is a non-profit organization incorporated in Mumbai, India with 'disaster management' as its principal objective. The basic aim of AADM is to save life and property in the event of a disaster, be it natural or manmade. Towards this end, AADM imparts disaster management training to every desirous individual, irrespective of nationality, caste, creed, or religion. The main objective of AADM is to build up a volunteer base across the globe, that will be able to handle various disasters and disaster situations effectively. AADM has a trained Disaster Management Volunteer (DMV) force of about 60,000.
AADM was founded in April 2005, under section 25 of The Companies Act, 1956. The academy was formed under the guidance of Dr. Aniruddha D. Joshi (M.D. Medicine, Rheumatologist, who is fondly referred as Aniruddha Bapu).
AADM's mission is to teach a person to save one's life first, in order to be able to save other people's lives during and in the aftermath of a man made or natural disaster. The trained disaster management volunteers, in turn, will reach out to the masses, across the length and breadth of the country, for imparting training in the basics of disaster management, absolutely free of cost.
Textbook of Disaster Management
The Textbook of Disaster Management  was compiled by AADM in the year 2002. It has proved to be of great help in training the trainer on how to impart effective disaster management training to an average citizen of India. It also serves as a virtual handbook in the event of a disaster.
There are two types of volunteers:
(i) ‘DMV’ (Disaster Management Volunteer) The members trained in the 7-day basic disaster management course offered by AADM are termed as ‘DMV’s.
(ii)‘Transmitter’ (Trainers for DMVs). Those come forward to teach fellow citizens in basic disaster management are termed as ‘Transmitters’. Currently AADM has a total of 60,000 DMVs and 450 Transmitters.
Basic Disaster Management Course
The Basic Disaster Management Training Course includes training the common citizen in the finer aspects of first-aid, with the objective of saving lives until Qualified Medical Assistance arrives. Apart from the first-aid techniques, the training course also covers information on all possible kinds of disasters and ways to effectively respond to them. This includes natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, cyclones, famines, drought, etc. and man made disasters such as explosions (bomb blasts), religious violence (communal riots), etc., as also nuclear, biological and chemical warfare, which have come to pose a genuine and serious threat to the very survival of mankind and civilization.
- Establishing or rendering help to any institution engaged in the alleviation of human suffering.
- To provide assistance to the local civic authorities during festivals, public functions or any other public event, primarily for the purposes of crowd control.
- To start, maintain and assist in any relief measures, at locations which have been subjected to natural and man-made calamities.
- To initiate and undertake projects towards the rehabilitation of people located in disaster affected areas.
- To mobilize volunteers from among the younger generation by undertaking disaster management courses in schools and colleges.
- To run various parallel projects such as Vermiculture Project, Pulse Polio Vaccination, Blood donation camps etc.
Assistance to local civic authorities during 26 July 2005 Heavy rainfall disaster:
On July 26, 2005, when heavy rains created a disaster like situation in Mumbai and Maharashtra, AADM's DMVs offered help to the local civic authorities in the rescue operations by making rafts out of used plastic bottles and ferrying the affected to safety. On the same day when a landslide struck Saki Naka, a suburb of Mumbai, the DMVs played a crucial role in saving lives and extricating bodies from the rubble in extremely challenging conditions.
Assistance to local civic authorities during incidents of fire: AADM DMVs actively assist Mumbai's fire brigade and Mumbai police authorities during incidents of fire. For instance, they successfully assisted the authorities when fire broke out at the office of Fairdeal Corporation Ltd., at Jogeshwari, Mumbai, Maharashtra on 26 January 2006 Fire at Hansa Ind. Estate, Mumbai on 6 July 2006
Assistance to local civic authorities during man made disasters: When serial blasts occurred in the compartments of the suburban trains of Western Railway on 11 July 2006, as also the bomb blast at the Agarwal Hospital, Mulund (W), Mumbai on March 15, 2003, at Bomb Blasts at German Bakery, Pune on February 15, 2010 
Crowd control activities during fairs and festivals at religious places: AADM DMVs help in controlling and regulating the crowds queuing up for darshan, or where large crowd movement takes place following are such examples, Siddhivinayak Temple, Mumbai, Mahalakshmi Temple, Mumbai Mount Mary Church, Bandra, Mumbai, Mandher Devi Temple in Mandhradevi, Satara, Maharasshtra Paithan, Aurangabad, Maharashtra Immersion of Lord Ganesh Idols during Ganesh Utsav in different parts of Maharashtra
A disaster management training workshop was conducted for the Nandurbar police force on the invitation of the Superintendent of Police – Nandurbar, Maharashtra.
AADM considers soil fertility and environmental protection as the two key aspects of disaster management (prevention section). AADM achieves these by adopting to vermiculture which is an eco-friendly waste management technology.
It is the technology of rearing or cultivating earthworms and using them as natural bio reactors in waste management. It is a simple procedure of maintaining and culturing earthworms that feed on the biodegradable waste, defaces and multiply on wastes.
It can handle all types of bio-degradable waste like food waste, floral and vegetable waste, garden waste, cow dung and paper waste. The non vegetarian food items can also be used. However they take longer time to decompose which could produce poor smell. The dry waste like glass, thermocol, plastic, rubber or likewise which does not decompose cannot be used in the process.
It also helps to protect the earthworm species which plays an important role in soil fertility and environment protection.
It can be practiced in cities and villages or farms. In cities, the citizens should show active participation to overcome the alarming state of the environment. It can be carried out near cow sheds, backyards, basements or any suitable place which can be well protected. Unlike cities, villages have a wider scope for adopting Vermiculture with all the necessary resources easily available and in abundance.
• Large quantities of waste can be converted to Vermicompost which would otherwise be burned (garden waste) or piled into dumping grounds or other natural bodies
• The process is practically free from foul odor & generates little heat which can be easily controlled.
• Construction of pits & shade can be made according to the geographic location and climatic conditions of the area. Hence Capital for the project can be tailored to suit the budget bracket.
• Ideally a dedicated manpower of four can handle an entire project.
• Requires 1-1 1⁄2½ hour of field work in the morning and evening in the initial stage. later on when the pits are fully dumped with waste, it requires less time to monitor parameters such as pH & temperature.
• The first output of rich Vermicompost takes 2-2½ months but the second cycle is completed within 45 days. As number of worms increase the quality & quantity of manure increases.
Key process requirements:
• Availability of space - may vary depending on the quantity of waste but 500 sq. ft. is typically sufficient
• Availability of water and electricity nearby
Raw material requirements:
• Easily available bedding material like paddy straw, coconut palms, coconut choirs and sugarcane bagasse.
• Supply of cow dung (either dry decomposed or at least 15 days old) as a primary source of food for earthworms. Wet cow dung if available abundantly can be stored or stacked.
Small scale (house level)
The individuals can practice this technology at the household level. The salient features are
• It can be done in a small plastic bucket, tray or earthen pots.
• It is economical and the procedure too is very simple.
• One can devote time according to one's suitability.
• It can be practiced by people of all ages.
• Bedding - Selection of proper bedding material like paddy straw, sugarcane baggasse or coconut coirs is a key.
• Food source - The bio-degradable waste (kitchen waste, floral waste, agro waste, cow dung and paper)
• Adequate moisture – The bedding used should be able to hold sufficient moisture. The earthworms breathe through their skin and so moisture content is very crucial for their existence.
• Adequate aeration - Worms are oxygen breathers and cannot survive anaerobic conditions. They operate best when ventilation is good and the material they are living is porous and well aerated.
• Protection from extreme temperature - The temperature control is essential for the process and requires near about room temperature of 25 to 28 degrees ideally.
The other important parameters are pH, salt content and proper shelter.
• As the biodegradable garbage is disposed of through the vermiculture process, there is less pollution of natural resources through garbage
• Open lands and play grounds being turned into dumping grounds can be avoided.
• Outbreak of diseases can be minimized.
• Destruction of the significant soil Eco-system can be reduced.
• The biggest disaster for the farmers viz. decline in farm productivity can be minimized.
• Pollution through food chain can be minimized which is highly destructive for plants animals and humankind.
• The water holding capacity of Vermicompost is many times more as compared to chemical fertilizers. This increases the water retention capacity of the soil preventing soil erosion.
• The production of plants and crops is of a very god quality in terms of color, size, taste and quality.
AADM formed a core team of 50 volunteers for a full-fledged training in the pilot project. The core team started the project at household level with an initial seed provided by the Academy to get the practical knowledge of the project and develop as a trainer's team. “Train the trainer” approach was used.
Pilot project at VJTI campus (Mumbai):
• The first pilot project was set up at VJTI campus (Mumbai) using their cafeteria and garden waste.
• The project was implemented and looked after by the Academy's core team of volunteers.
• A large pit was built using the service of the volunteers.
AADM also offers consultancy to various housing societies, corporate, schools and colleges. Under consultancy, a team of volunteers from the Academy visit the site for survey, and submit a survey report thereafter to cater the requirements for the project execution. The people handling the projects are trained by the Academy's team by personal visits till the first crop of Vermicompost is harvested Thereafter it is the sole responsibility of the society or institution to continue the project in the long run.
Consultancy for vermiculture was provided to the various Educational Institutes, Govt. organizations like
• Naval Dockyard – Colaba
• Central Railway Matunga workshop
• Pearl Society - Vile Parle
Upon request from schools and colleges, introduction and demonstrations have been given to students. The demonstrations have been conducted through power point presentations, display charts and practicals. The students are encouraged to maintain a small scale vermiculture bin which can be rated by the teachers as a part of the school project.
Key awareness projects
Awareness through lecture and demonstrations in 24 wards of MCGM-Education Dept. for school children, parents, staff teachers, gardeners and CDO (Community Development Officers) covering around 200 schools. for such programs were conducted half-yearly during Feb.’05 to Dec.’06.
Future for vermiculture in India
Till date 87 tons of Vermicompost has been produced from the academy’s own projects in Mumbai and Maharashtra region and has been utilized for tree plantation. That amounts to approx. 340 tons of waste conversion into Vermicompost.
Vermiculture is an eco-friendly waste management technology. It is definitely cost effective and can be implemented in urban and rural areas. It is easy to practice and helps us curb air, water and land pollutions. ‘Trees’ are considered as living immovable souls. By supplying them with good fertilizers and water, we are not only nurturing them but also trying to repay the obligation of our Mother Earth in a small and righteous way.
In 2007, AADM was invited by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to participate in the 'Monsoon Disaster Plan (2007)’ launched by it.
Participation in Disaster Risk Management Master Plan Project :
AADM has contributed to this project initiated by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, by gathering and compiling information for the Emergency Operation Plan, and preparing the process document for Emergency Support Function which form part of the Disaster Risk Management Master Plan Project.
Participation in Tatpar Mumbai Project:
AADM participated in the Tatpar Mumbai Project, organized by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Mumbai Police, Fire department, National Disaster Unit and non-governmental organizations.
Participation in Asia Megacities Forum 2009 event:
This forum was organized between the 22 and 24 April 2009, by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, who are also partners of the Earthquakes and Megacities initiative.
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