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.
Origin of Indian Red Cross Society
During the first world war in 1914, India had no organization for relief services to the affected soldiers, except a branch of the St. John Ambulance Association and by a Joint Committee of the British Red Cross. Later, a branch of the same Committee was started to undertake the much needed relief services in collaboration with the St. John Ambulance Association in aid of the soldiers as well as civilian sufferers of the horrors of that great war. A bill to constitute the Indian Red Cross Society, Independent of the British Red Cross, was introduced in the Indian Legislative Council on 3rd March 1920 by Sir Claude Hill, member of the Viceroy’s Executive Council who was also Chairman of the Joint war Committee in India . The Bill was passed on 17th March 1920 and became Act XV of 1920 with the assent of the Governor General on the 20th March 1920 .
On 7th June 1920 , fifty members were formally nominated to constitute the Indian Red Cross Society and the first Managing Body was elected from among them with Sir Malcolm Hailey as Chairman.
Indian Red Cross Society is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. Relations between the IRCS and the India Delegation of the Federation are strong.
Red Cross Emblem
Red Cross on a white background, is the Emblem of Red Cross, recognized in 1864 as the distinctive sign for medical relief teams on the battle field.
In the Russo-Turkish war the Ottoman empire used a Red Crescent in place of the Red Cross. Egypt too opted for the Red Crescent while Persia chose a Red Lion on a white background. These symbols were written and accepted into the 1929 Geneva Conventions. The IRCS adopted RED CROSS as its emblem.
The National Society make use of the emblem as an indicative device in peacetime and during armed conflicts within the limits stipulated in national legislation, the regulations and its statutes only for activities consistent with the principles set out by International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
During the General Assembly and the council of Delegates in November 2005 at Geneva, Red Crystal has been adopted as another emblem for the Red Cross Red Crescent movement.
Seven Fundamental Principles of Red Cross
1. Humanity : The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavors, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, cooperation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.
2. Impartiality : It makes no discrimination as to nationally, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavors to relieve the suffering of individuals, being solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.
3. Neutrality : In orders to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.
4. Independence : The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.
5. Voluntary service : It is voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.
6. Unity : There can be only one Red Cross Or Red Crescent in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.
7. Universality : The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.
District Red Cross Society, Kullu.
The District Red Cross Society, Kullu was established on 01-04-1998 under Indian Red Cross Society Act. 1920 ( as amended by Act No. 22 of 1956 and adoption of law’s (No.4) order 1957 and Act No 14 of 1992.) and is working under the Himachal Pradesh State of Red Cross Society, Shimla. The District Branch follows the aims and objectives of the Indian Red Cross Society as per 1st schedule of Act XV of 1920 as amended from time to time. The district branch has the jurisdiction over entire area of Kullu district. The district branch has its own bye laws for the management, functions, operations, control and procedure of the Society. The office of District Branch is located in Deputy Commissioner’s office Kullu, District Kullu (HP).
The mission of Red Cross is to inspire , encourage and initiate at all times , all forms of humanitarian activities so that human sufferings can be minimized and even prevented and thus contribute to creating more congenial climate for peace, progress, prosperity and health.