Joint Assistance Centre  - India

History of Joint Assistance Centre

Mr. N.K. Jain, Founder, Joint Assistance Centre
The Joint Assistance Centre, JAC, in India was established in New Delhi by Mr. N.K. Jain as an All India Voluntary agency for assistance in disaster situations in 1978 in the aftermath of the terrible cyclone of November 1977 that devastated the Chirala Divi region of Andhra Pradesh, killing over 10,000 people. Since then JAC India has been working steadfastly for disaster preparedness and prevention. After Mr. Jain’s death in 2004, JAC India is now under the direction of Mr. Naresh Srivastava.

The strategy has been to build up people’s capability to cope with disasters primarily through training and education programs. Over the years, JAC India had developed excellent interactive linkages with many NGOs, volunteer agencies, youth organizations, resource people, institutions and government functionaries in the country. Outside India, Mr. Jain and JAC were associated with the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, USA; Datum International UK; and Overseas Disaster Response Organisation of Australia. Mr. Jain was a member of the International Advisory Board of the Disaster Management Diploma Program at the University of Wisconsin, USA. Since 1982, JAC India has been included in the Directory of Training Institutions for Disaster Management of the office of UN Disaster Relief Coordinator, UNDRO, now called the Department of Humanitarian Affairs–DHA and has worked in close collaboration with the Secretariat for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction of the United Nations, IDNDR, located in Geneva, Switzerland. JAC India had acquired expertise in development of training methods, training materials and creating specific target oriented training modules. Between May and August 1995, JAC India organized 5 workshops in different parts of India on behalf of CAPART on the theme Building Up National Capabilities to cope with natural disasters followed by a working group meeting to review the recommendations of the five workshops. Extensive documentation formed the basis of discussions at the workshops and the working group. A comprehensive report was submitted to the sponsors at CAPART. JAC India assisted in formulating India’s first formal educational curriculum on Disaster Management as an optional subject at the Post Graduate Hill Area Development Engineering Course at the M M M Engineering College, Gorakhpur. Launched in January1999, JAC India assisted the Indira Gandhi National Open University, IGNOU, in developing curricula for distant-education courses for a Certificate in Disaster Management. JAC India has helped in setting up new volunteer agencies with similar objectives in disaster management and training such as PREPARE in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, the Institute for Youth and Disaster Preparedness in Orissa, the Gandak Valley Flood Prevention Association in Bihar, the Institute for Disaster Reduction and Management in Maharashtra and the AP Disaster Reduction Forum in Andra Pradesh. JAC India was unanimously chosen as the Focal Point for the Global Forum of NGOs for Disaster Reduction, GFNDR, established by NGOs of 6 continents present at the UN World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction in Yokahama, Japan, in May 1994.  

JAC India was a Charter Member of the Leadership Coalition for Global Business Protection and was a member of the Coordination Committee of International Voluntary Services at UNESCO, France; the Environment Liaison Centre International at UNEP, Kenya; the International Voluntary Health Association, UK; and International Association of Voluntary Effort, Switzerland. JAC India was engaged in the task of organizing as Charter Member the Indian Association of Emergency Managers set up at Porbander, Gujarat, in September 1999 and evolved a system of certification for personnel in disasters. JAC India was also engaged in the task of empowerment programs for the poor through youth programs and work camps with the aim of rural and social development at a grass roost level, in addition to publishing the JAC Bulletin meant for prevention and management of disaster situations. Awareness programs in Delhi are conducted in collaboration with the Central Board for Workers Education. Village Ahmed Nagar, District Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, and village Megra, District Gaya, Bihar, have been indicated for establishment of a nursery library and a Population Employment Coordination Programme on a voluntary basis through NREGA and other Rural Development Programmes of State and Central Government. 

Scene from Gujarat earth quake 2001