The Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan took part in centenary celebrations of Indian Red Cross Society(IRCS) in New Delhi today on the occasion of ‘World Red Cross Day’. Dr. Harsh Vardhan garlanded the bust of Mr. Henry Durant the founder of the International Red Crossand flagged off the vehicle carrying relief material to Haryana, consisting of PPEs, masks, wet wipes, body bags etc. to mark the occasion.Addressing the limited gathering at the function as well as IRCS leadership and staff at various state branches across the country through Video Conferencing, he said “It’s an important day for Indian Red Cross Society, as it has not only completed 100 years of existence but has kept its motto of providing medical and humanitarian help while maintaining its prestige and commitment.” He thanked IRCS for providing relief and doing good work in India. He said “Its commendable that IRCS does not wait for orders from anyone but sue-moto acts and provides the relief work in any disaster or humanitarian crisis which requiresimmediate action.”Dr. Harsh Vardhan lauded the Indian Red Cross Society for sending mobile blood collection vans to the premises of regular blood donors to facilitate them to come forward for blood donation at this point of time. He said, “IRCS is doing yeoman service to the mankind by providing the facility of mobile blood collection, pick & drop facility through mobile van etc. and setting a benchmark for other voluntary organisations by providing blood to terminally ill patients, thalassaemics as well as patients suffering from other blood disorders during these difficult times.”He also appealed to voluntary organisations, NGOs and common people at large to come forward to promote voluntary blood donation to maintain ample blood stocks to meet any eventuality in the country. He further asked people to donate blood at least once in a year on their birthday or marriage anniversary to make the occasion special for not only themselves but for the people who need blood also.
He further asked IRCS to come forward to spread awareness amongst the masses to not to stigmatise patients and Corona Warriors including doctors, health workers, etc. and promote positive environment for them to work with great zeal.“I really value Indian Red Cross fraternity having given a great contribution in our fight against COVID-19 too where they have provided equipment, sanitizers, food, PPE kits and N95 masks etc. to several hospitals in India”, he said.The IRCS was founded in 1920, as a voluntary humanitarian organization. Today with a network of over 1,100 branches across the country, it provides relief in times of disasters/emergencies as well as promotes health and care of the vulnerable people and communities. It is a leading member of the largest independent humanitarian organization in the world, the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement.The Mission of the Indian Red Cross is to inspire, encourage and initiate, at all times, all forms of humanitarian activities so that human suffering can be minimized and even prevented and thus contribute to creating more congenial climate for peace.Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “Just like Red Cross, it should be our motto to inspire, encourage and initiate all forms of humanitarian activities so that human suffering can be minimized at all times to come.”Outlining the silver lining in the crisis due to COVID-19, he said, “This situation has also given us good things. It’s an advent of a new era and world order. We are promoting personal hygiene like never before, attending meetings through Video Conferencing as well as using other digital technology to save on costs while taking full care of our families. It has highlighted the value of a clean and clear environment, earth, water and air; nature has taken over the planet world over, like never before.”At the end, he thanked all those who attended the event. Mr. Udaya Regmi, Acting Head of Country Cluster Office, International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), Mr. Yahia Alibi, Head of Regional Delegation, ICRC, Mr. R. K. Jain, Secretary General,and other senior officials from IRCS were also present on the occasion.IRCS,Chairmen and Secretaries of various IRCS state branches, IRCS staff and Volunteers across the country connected through Video Conferencing.