Site to trace missing people at Ganga Sagar fair

9 Jan 2018

Government agencies of West Bengal have joined hands with a reputed public society of the country, to develop a website to help trace people separated from their dear ones in milling crowd during the upcoming Ganga Sagar fair. The website is being developed by the West Bengal Disaster Management Department, the state police, the state's Inter Agency Group (IAG) and the National Institute of Amateur Radio (NIAR), a non-government organisation founded in Hyderabad and registered as a public society in 1983.
According to a senior official at the West Bengal Disaster Management Department, work for the website is in full swing, as there were only a few days left for the Gangasagar Mela to begin. The fair is organised from January 11 to January 16 at the Sagar Island.
"Basic details of the missing person along with his or her description, including contact number will be needed to be immediately uploaded on the portal. Once the detail is provided, a docket number will be generated by the website," the official said. Once the docket number is issued, even the missing person's relatives would have the option of tracking him or her, he said.
The website would also feature the option to upload the voice recording of the missing person and help investigators understand the dialect. "There are thousands of people from different corners of the country speaking varied languages who come to the Ganga Sagar Mela every year. And at times it becomes a tough job to understand their language. So we have kept an option on the website of uploading voice recording of the missing person, which will be automatically translated through a tool," the official said.
Claiming that the website is perhaps first of its kind in the country for any fair, the disaster management official said it was being developed by a member of the West Bengal Radio Club (amateur club), Nilkantha Chatterjee. A team of around 45 hams (amateur radio stations) from the West Bengal Radio Club would be working at this year's Gangasagar Mela in the South 24 Parganas district.
"We have planned to set up ham radio stations at two water ambulances which have been provided by the state government. These stations will ensure unhindered communication between the ambulances and nearby hospitals in case of emergencies," another senior official of the state administration said. The radio stations would also help doctors coordinate with city hospitals in case the patient's condition is critical and required attention at a bigger hospital with superior infrastructure. The radio club, in the recent past, has reunited a number of patients at different hospitals with their families. These persons, who were under medical care, had gone missing while visiting the state on pilgrimage. (PTI)