Youth should imbibe the spirit of volunteerism and come forward for noble causes like blood donation.
Speaking on the occasion of World Red Cross Day, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said there can be no greater act of humanitarianism than blood donation, which can actually save lives of many a needy and sick people.
He said volunteers are the backbone and spirit of Red Cross movement. He noted that this year's theme of "Find the volunteer inside you" is very topical and would hopefully inspire many to join the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.
Azad also informed that he has been able to get the Ministry of Finance to agree to grant income tax exemption to the Red Cross Society from June onwards.
He said this gesture would go a long way in boosting the activities of Red Cross Society. The Union health Minister is also the Chairman of Red Cross Society.
The Minister recalled that he has been associated with Red Cross Society in various capacities over past few decades.
Azad said he has been a great votary of volunteering and has had an opportunity to notice firsthand the yeomen service rendered by volunteers in the wake of Cloud burst tragedy at Leh last year.
"People of Leh still cherish the two sanitation units set up by Red Cross volunteers," he added.
Ghulam Nabi Azad also inaugurated the Multipurpose Conference facility at IRCS head quarters and spoke to volunteers at Hyderabad centre.
"Use of modern Information Communication Technologies should be harnessed to maximize value and reduce costs of monitoring projects in state and regional branches," he said.