Everywhere for Everyone

O P Sharma
The Red Cross, society the world-wide humanitarian organization, is  aimed at ensuring well being of the entire humanity irrespective of religion, region, caste, colour or gender. This welfare movement has very wide  network throughout  the globe undertaking selfless services for mitigating the sufferings due to man-made or any  natural calamity. This organization has the proud record of service in India as also in the strategic and sensitive border Jammu and Kashmir State.
This year’s theme is “Everywhere for Everyone” and the Red Cross Day is being observed on May 8 with enthusiasm in the Jammu and Kashmir State as elsewhere in India and all other countries. Various programmes have been chalked out for this occasion.

The Governor, N.N. Vohra, who is Chief Patron of this  organization  at a special meeting held at Jammu recently underscored need for expansion and also enlarging its sphere of activities for the well being of the people in   Jammu and Kashmir.
On the eve of the Red Cross Day, I interviewed K.C Puri, Secretary, Red Cross Society, Jammu, who gave details of the activities and achievements of this selfless service organization and also pin-pointed the special drives being  launched on birth anniversary of founder of Red Cross, Henry  Dunant. He spoke about the origin and growth of the Red Cross and its activities over the years.
Answering a question, Mr. Puri stated that efforts are afoot to involve maximum number of people, especially the youth to ensure their full participation. He stated that special activities will be carried out on this day and  it is planned to organize in every school across Jammu region to participate in Red Cross flag hoisting, administering   pledge “to take care of own health and that of others” and fully dedicate to the social service. The organization also has plans to hold blood donation and medical camps. Imparting First-Aid training to drivers of all commercial vehicles has been taken up to meet emergency medical needs in case of accident. It is also proposed to setup dental clinics and also upgrade lab testing facilities, he added.
The Red Cross Society has lived up to its reputation of rendering selfless service to the people in distress. It has also helped those suffering social discrimination, financial deprivation and physical or mental disabilities. This organization has, in fact, a long history of service with smile. Whenever and wherever, the Red Cross team goes they are looked up as angels of hope and relief.
Tasks Ahead
The task before this welfare organization are challenging indeed. The Indian Red Cross Society has mobilized and sized itself up to the situation for extending  relief to the victims.
Red Cross Day is observed on May 8, being the birth anniversary of Jean Henri Dunant, founder of this great humanitarian movement in the world. After a traumatic personal experience of battle in Solferine, Mr. Dunant, a Swiss businessman wrote a book: “A Memory of Solferino” and  pleaded for formation in all countries voluntary relief societies to work in the battle-fields. And in 1864 the first Red Cross Society came into being but then  it was confined to medical care and welfare of wounded soldiers. Subsequently, it undertook all other welfare works as well.
Vision & Mission
This organization has a charter of seven Fundamental Principles which are: Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary, Service, Unity and Universality for mitigation of human sufferings.
Now, as per instructions of the J&K Governor, some tangible   schemes like mobilizing resources, enrollment of  volunteers and their trainings as also vigorous implementations of important projects are underway  for the benefit of weak and distressed.
Indian Red Cross Society, national federation of over 600 branches in the country with its headquarters at New Delhi do inspire, encourage and initiate all forms of humanitarian activities. It functions under  the Indian Red Cross Society Act  passed in 1920 and  the President of India is chief patron at the national level while the State in Jammu and Kashmir branch is headed by the Governor.
Healing Touch
As the premier and largest voluntary agency in the country, the Red Cross has entered a number of welfare fields in a big way. A commendable job was done during 1947 in relief, repatriation and rehabilitation work for mass exodus of refugees. Then again, it repeated its good work in 1962, 1965 and 1971 conflicts and also during the period of turbulence. Its performance during the peace time too is pivotal and also praise worthy.
The J&K State Red Cross now has its own website for facility of the public to give further impetus to the  Red Cross movement.      The Red Cross Soceity has much role to provide soothing balm of relief and love to the victims of terrorism, cross-border firings and natural calamities.
The Red Cross Society, Jammu is also rendering a useful service by providing short-stay accommodation in its spacious multi-storey Sarai to attendants of out-station patients admitted in the Govt Medical College Hospital, Jammu .
The Red Cross has a significant role of welfare both in war and peace time. The humanitarian work is gigantic indeed and need to be strengthened by men, money and material to mitigate the sufferings of human beings.
The Red Cross Society has rendered commendable service but   much more still remains to be done. All of us must join hands with Red Cross Society for doing our part of welfare service.
The spirit of Red Cross must be preserved and also further streamlined and strengthened by involving the people particularly the youth and students in this humanitarian missionary work.
(Starline Syndicate Service)


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