'Red Cross' Campaigns Against Misuse of Its Emblem

by VR Sreeraman on Sep 28 2007 2:45 PM

Scores of Red Cross society volunteers kicked off an awareness campaign against the misuse of the 'Red Cross' emblem.

The activists are protesting against the widespread abuse of the Red Cross emblem, and said there were separate emblems for various allied medical services.

The activists, holding posters and literature on the various signages, went on a door-to-door campaign informing doctors and chemists about the correct emblems for their different services.

"We are conducting this campaign to tell the medical fraternity that they are doing wrong by using the Red Cross symbol. There is a law against it. According to the 1960 Geneva Conventions Act, the Red Cross sign is only to be used by Red Cross society or the Armed Forces Medical Services. Other people of the medical fraternity cannot use it. There are individual symbols for separate departments of the medical fraternity,” said Ashfaaq Ahmed, an activist.

The activists also pasted individual symbols onto the respective places like pharmacy shops and ambulances along with vehicles of medical practitioners to drive home their point.

A blue coloured serpentine symbol for ambulance, green one for doctors and so on were pasted by the activists to inform the medical fraternity and refrain them from further misusing the Red Cross emblem.

Red Cross emblem is widely misused by medical practitioners and pharmacists across the country and even ambulances and hospitals put up the red coloured cross.

The sign of Red Cross on a white background originated in the historic 1863 International Conference in Geneva, when the foundation of the Red Cross movement was laid.

The emblem was adopted officially for armed forces medical personnel and for military hospitals to facilitate access of relief workers to the wounded and sick soldiers and for providing humanitarian relief and assistance them.

In India, the punishment for misuse of the Red Cross emblem amounts to a fine of 500 rupees and forfeiture of the goods and vehicles on which the emblem has been used without authorization.