- The World Red Cross and
Red Crescent Day is observed every year on 8 May to commemorate the birth
anniversary of the founder of this worldwide movement.
- This year the theme is 'Less known Red Cross Stories'. An
online essay and photograph competition is to be held on this occasion.
World Red Cross Day
on 8 May is the annual commemoration of the birth
anniversary of Jean-Henry Dunant, the founder of the International Committee of
the Red Cross (ICRC), and the first ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Red Cross and Red Crescent Day and Movement
commemorating Dunant's birth anniversary, the day is
also meant to celebrate the seven principles of the International Red Cross and
Red Crescent Movement. The 1965 Vienna Proclamation of the Fundamental
Principles of the Red Cross includes the following points: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary
‘The annual World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day commemorates the birth anniversary of the founder, Henry Dunant, celebrates humanitarianism, and acknowledges the selfless contributions of the volunteers and staff.’
The Red Cross Movement is dedicated to the above mentioned principles.
The very existence of
the movement is underlined by a fundamentally humanitarian approach. It is also
driven by a pledge to remain impartial at times of hostilities, to provide
services and relief to conflict and natural catastrophe ravaged victims,
survivors, civilians, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, color and
political affiliations. Each of the National Red Cross Societies is autonomous.
Their independence gives them the authority to act immediately, and remain
committed to the Red Cross principles. Furthermore, the Red Cross acts as a
non-profit, voluntary relief organization, and is universally, and globally,
united in its presence and duty.
World Red Cross Day also provides the opportunity to pay tribute to the 17
million Red Cross volunteers and staff who risk their lives every day to bring relief and care to the needy, in this growing
climate of political and social instability, and burgeoning religious
three pillars of the movement are the International Committee of the Red
Cross, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and
the National Red Cross Societies,
while the red cross, and the red
crescent, against a white background, are its emblems in Non-Muslim and Muslim
Known Red Cross Stories
2017 theme for the World Red Cross Day is 'Less Known Red Cross Stories
with the novel perception of bringing to life inspiring stories of humanitarian
pursuits across the world, through online essay and photography competitions.
The competitions are to be organized by the Indian Red Cross Society, the
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the
International Committee of the Red Cross (
jointly organized online competitions are free and open to all, except for the
Red Cross staff members. The goal is to draw motivational stories and
photographs from the public at large. They will be judged by a jury who will
give the final verdict.
: The topic is Beyond the Century - My Vision
The topic is My Experience
over a Century
have been sent out to all government and government aided schools and educational
institutions to invite participants for the competition.
Brief History of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
history of the ICRC dates back to 1859 when Dunant, a businessman from Geneva,
Switzerland, arrived in Solferino, Italy as part of a business trip. His
arrival coincided with the Battle of Solferino. Dunant was revolted at the
horrific aftermath of the battle which he witnessed first hand. He then took it
upon himself to assemble help, bringing together the civilians to aid and
assist the wounded.
seeds of what was to become the worldwide Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
were sowed during that fateful moment when Dunant decided to mobilize help for
the wartime soldiers and victims. On his return to Geneva, he published a book
called Un Souvenir de Solferino
(A Memory of Solferino), describing his
experiences. It was here that he put forth the proposal for a neutral
organization that would provide supplies and care to victims of war. In 1863, a
five-member committee was created by the Geneva Society for Public Welfare of
which Dunant was one of the members. The date of their first meeting has
since been considered the founding date of the ICRC.
the Geneva Convention in 1864, the ICRC introduced its emblem -- the red cross
against a white background
. Over the next 50
years, national societies were established, and the ICRC's role went through
several phases from taking care of war prisoners to running ambulances on
battlefields, especially during World War I. During World War II, the ICRC
expanded its activities, reaching out to the wounded and civilians across the
globe. However, this period is also considered one of its greatest failures,
due to its lack of endeavor to aid the victims and survivors of the infamous
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
1919 the League of Red Cross Societies was founded, which
was to become the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies (IFRC) in 1991. Currently, the IFRC coordinates between 190 National
Red Cross Societies across the globe.
Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS)
Indian Red Cross Society was established way back in 1920. Apart from disaster
management and community care
, the IRCS's activities include:
The IRCS has the largest voluntary blood bank service in the country with over
100 blood banks across India. HIV/AIDS: The IRCS
plays a pivotal role in raising awareness on, and prevention of, HIV/AIDS. It actively provides care to the
children of HIV positive women, especially
among the lower economic sections of society. Maternal
and Child Care: In keeping with their humanitarian principles, mother and
child welfare activities have been carried out by the IRCS since 1954.
Family Welfare: The IRCS encourages family planning
and promotes the use of contraceptives. The numerous Red Cross centers and
welfare clinics across the nation actively engage in welfare activities for the
underprivileged sections of the community. Hospital Services
and Home for Disabled Servicemen: The IRCS runs welfare services in
military hospitals. It provides recreational and psychological support to the
sick and the wounded. Since 1946, it also runs a home for disabled servicemen
in Bangalore. Vocational Training Services: The IRCS trains poor,
backward caste women, with the purpose of giving them a vocation in life. These
women are then able to take on important responsibilities, earning their own
living and supporting their families. Encouraging these otherwise disadvantaged
women to make active decisions about their lives, giving them a voice, and
providing them with an independent agency, are some of the tasks performed by
the IRCS. Tracing Activities: The IRCS has played a
pivotal role in mobilizing help to trace missing persons after some major
calamity, bringing together loved ones who had been lost without a trace.
Nursing: The IRCS also provides training in nursing
and midwife activities.
Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies along with their collaborative bodies
constitute one of the largest humanitarian networks worldwide. In recent times,
in the light of the brutalities that the world is witnessing on a daily basis,
for instance, in the current Syria crisis, the Red Cross has been working
tirelessly to bring relief, and end the suffering of the countless innocents
whose lives have been marred by conflict.
is to celebrate this respect for humanity, and the spirit of unconditional
humanitarianism, that the World Red Cross Day is observed.
- International Committe of the RedCross -
- Indian Red Cross Society