The 18th National Disaster Response Force Day is being celebrated by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on 19 January 2023. The day is being celebrated since 2006 when the rescue force was officially formed. The specialised, multi-skilled rescue force is made up of battalions of Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and Assam Rifles. NDRF is the primary agency responsible for conducting rescue operations during disasters like drowning, building collapse, landslides, devastating floods, earthquakes and cyclones.
India witnessed a series of natural disasters in the late 1990s and early 2000s. These include the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2001 Gujarat earthquake and the 2005 Mumbai floods. While the Indian Armed Forces were deployed for rescue and recovery missions, there was a need for a dedicated rescue mission-oriented response force. Hence, the Disaster Management Act of 2005 was enacted. The Act created the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) as the apex body for natural disasters and the NDRF as the specialized rescue force under the mandate of the NDMA.