The Indian Red Cross is a voluntary humanitarian organization having a network of over 1100 branches throughout the country, providing relief in times of disasters/emergencies and promotes health & care of the vulnerable people and communities. It is a leading member of the largest independent humanitarian organization in the world, the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement. The movement has three main components, the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), 192 National Societies and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
The Mission of the Indian Red Cross is to inspire, encourage and initiate at all times all forms of humanitarian activities so that human suffering can be minimized and even prevented and thus contribute to creating more congenial climate for peace.
- Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) was established in 1920 under the Indian Red Cross Society Act and incorporated under Parliament Act XV of 1920. The act was last amended in 1992 and of rules were formed in 1994.
- The IRCS has 36 State / Union Territories Branches with their more than 1100 districts and sub district branches.
- Honourable President of India is the President and Hon’ble Union Health Minister is the Chairman of the Society.
- The Vice Chairman is elected by the members of the Managing Body.
The National Managing Body consists of 19 members.
- The Chairman and 6 members are nominated by the President. The remaining 12 are elected by the state and union territory branches through an electoral college.
- The Managing Body is responsible for governance and supervision of the functions of the society through a number of committees.
- The Secretary General is the Chief Executive of the Society.
History of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement:
Young Swiss businessman, Jean Henry Dunant was appalled by the condition of the wounded soldiers he happened to see in the battle field of Solferino , Italy in 1859 during the Franco – Austrian war. He arranged relief services with the help of the local community immediately. He wrote the book ‘Memory of Solferino’ suggesting that a neutral organization be established to aid the wounded soldiers in times of war. Just a year after the release of this book, an international conference was convened in Geneva to consider the suggestions of Henry Dunant and thus the Red Cross Movement was born. International Red Cross Movement was established by Geneva Convention of 1864. The name and the emblem of the movement are derived from the reversal of the Swiss national flag, to honor the country in which Red Cross was found.