World Red Cross Day

Founder

The World Red Cross Day is celebrated every year on May 8th, the birth anniversary of its founder Jean Henry Dunant.

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                                                    Jean Henry Dunant, the founder of Red Cross

Day to honour Volunteers

The World Red Cross Day is dedicated to those volunteers who have made immense contribution to the needy in times of crisis like war, floods, epidemics and other disasters like earthquake. Many events are held all across the world, whereby the Red Cross volunteers are honoured and felicitated. This day is aimed at inspiring and promoting the humanitarian services carried out by the World Red Cross Society in every nook and corner of the world.

The Red Cross Society

The Red Cross Society is a worldwide movement of around 95 million volunteers that has been providing relief and disaster management during natural and manmade disasters. An organization that has been providing medical relief in war torn areas for over a century now.

The headquarters of Red Cross is at Geneva, Switzerland.

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                            International Red Cross Society, Headquarters, Geneva

Honoured to visit IRC

We had the good opportunity of visiting the International Red Cross Society in Geneva in 1996, go through the museum, and learn first hand the noble humanitarian work being done by the International Red Cross since its inception. Felt the sense of humanity and its selfless service, in times of turmoil, both manmade and that of Nature.

Its Flag

The Swiss flag is a White Cross on a Red background.

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 The Swiss flag

The Red Cross flag is the reverse of Swiss flag – a red cross on white background. Thus the name “Red Cross” evolved.

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 The flag of Red Cross

Principles

The foremost principles of Red Cross include Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity, and Universality.

 Role in World War-2

The Red Cross played a vital role during the 2nd World War. The Red Cross volunteers provided food and healthcare to those who were sick and wounded in war action, especially to those war prisoners who were caught in the ravages of the devastating War.

Red Cross Society of India

In India too, the Red Cross has had to fulfill many important roles during the last many decades.

The Indian Red Cross Society was established in 1920 under the Indian Red Cross Society Act. It has over 700 branches today that provide emergency services and healthcare during disasters and emergencies.

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The Indian Red Cross Society, National Headquarters, New Delhi

Diverse humanitarian activities

The Indian Red Cross Society have also been providing the necessary support to the needy during natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and Tsunami all across the country.

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   Indian Red Cross Volunteers providing relief during a flood in Rajasthan

 During Indo-Pak War

For example, at the time of Indo-Pakistan war in 1965, the Red Cross society played the role of intermediary by visiting war prisoners and refugee camps, and providing necessary relief.

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Red Cross delegates distributing milk to children at a refugee camp in Jammu

The Red Cross Society also took up many rehabilitation projects post the Tsunami that struck the Indian coast in 2004.

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Indian Red Cross Volunteers in action
Imgs: Courtesy ‘The Red Cross of India’

The services and relief works of the Indian Red Cross Society have been numerous and diverse in different parts of the country affected by a crisis.

What would have been the state of this country and the world if such service organizations did not exist?

Honour the Volunteers

This World Red Cross Day, let us pause and honour the dedicated volunteers of Red Cross, take a resolve to help the needy in our own way and Volunteer for a better world.

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