“It is the day to remember Henry Dunant and to take inspiration from his vision which became a worldwide movement”. The words of Mr JP Nadda, Chairperson of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) and Minister of Health and Family Welfare, India, reveberated around Jaipur’s Birla Auditorium on May 8 as the Red Cross Movement partners got together to commemorate World Red Cross Day.

Significance of life-saving activities

For the first time in the 97-year history of the IRCS, this day was celebrated outside New Delhi and the occasion was graced with the presence of Sh. Kalyan Singh, Honourable Governor of Rajasthan, and Sh. Avinash Rai Khanna, vice-chairperson of IRCS. Drawing attention to the significance of the life-saving activities carried out by the Red Cross, Sh. Khanna appealed, “At least one member in each family must complete First Aid training to be able to better serve our community.”

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Adebayo Olowo-Ake, deputy head of the New Delhi regional delegation of the ICRC, affirmed, “This day is a tribute to the 17 million volunteers in 190 countries who work tirelessly, often at great personal risk, to serve humanity.”

Winners announced

A photo exhibition showcasing the activities carried out by the Red Cross as part of its response to the needs of people suffering from man-made and natural disasters in India was also inaugurated by Sh. Nadda during the World Red Cross Day celebrations.

To commemorate WRD 2017, the IRCS organised online essay and photography competitions, together with the ICRC and IFRC. The winners of the essay competition were Chaitali Shah, Malika Jaidka and Prawigya Pariyar. Gagan Gunwant won the photography competition and the Rajsamand district branch, Rajasthan was acknowledged as the branch with the highest blood collection last year.

Below is a selection of photos that capture lively moments from the day (©ICRC, Ashish Bhatia):