The young men and women of the country were called upon by President Pranab Mukherjee to donate blood in a big way to ensure that not a single person in need of blood is left wanting.
"Despite the notable efforts of our country's blood banks, our country remains short of two million units of blood. I take this opportunity to call upon our young men and women to come forward in a big way and take part in voluntary blood donation," said Mukherjee, addressing the ceremonial session of the annual general meeting of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) and St. John Ambulance.
"Our efforts must be to ensure that not a single person in need of blood is left unanswered," he said.
The president also presented awards to 26 volunteers and branches of IRCS and St John Ambulance (India) in recognition of their committed services.
Observing that despite the progress made by mankind, it cannot exercise control over occurrence of natural disasters, Mukherjee said: "While we may not be able to prevent such unfortunate events from occurring, we can definitely lessen their adverse impact on human lives."
"For that, the quick response mechanisms for relief must be reinforced," he said.
Mukherjee also asked volunteer-based organisations to ensure immediate medical assistance during road accidents so as to minimize the loss of life.
In India, the Indian Red Cross Society and St. John Ambulance have been at the forefront of humanitarian service since 1920.