"The award has been instituted to acknowledge the contribution and selfless service of organisations and individuals to humanity in the aftermath of any disaster," said the statement.
This year, 8th Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) located at Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh has been selected for the award for its commendable work in disaster management.
The NDRF battalion, which was raised in 2006, is a highly specialised rescue and response force and has a responsibility of a large area covering the National Capital Region (NCR), Uttarakhand, western Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. It has participated in 314 major operations and rescued over 50,000 people.
In the recent Kerala floods, the battalion rescued 5,338 victims and evacuated 24,000 persons to safety. Other major disasters in which this NDRF battalion participated are Leh cloud burst (2011), Kedarnath floods (2013), Cyclone Hudhud (2014), Chennai floods (2015) and Tripura floods (2018). The battalion had also worked efficiently to neutralise the threat during radiation incident at Mayapuri, Delhi in 2010.
The battalion has also done commendable disaster management-related work internationally. In the aftermath of Nepal earthquake in 2015, six teams of the battalion were amongst the first responders to land at Kathmandu. Their teams were also sent to Japan during Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (2011) and recent Tsunami in Indonesia (2108).