TRIBUTE TO SIR HENRY DUNANT

While multiple functions were held across the state on the occasion of World Red Cross Day, it is time to reiterate the commitment to make this global movement much more strong as Red Cross is purely a voluntary movement to address the basic humanitarian issues in times of distress. The theme of this year’s World Red Cross Day is “Everywhere for every one smile”. The theme is in consonance with the aim and objective of the ICRC as achieving peace can be evidenced only by smiles on the faces of the people across the globe which unfortunately is witnessing a lot of belligerency and bloodshed. It is pertinent to mention here that the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is an annual celebration of the principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. World Red Cross Red Crescent Day is celebrated on 8th May each year being the birth anniversary of Henry Dunant, who founded the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). His contribution can be well judged from the fact that in recognition he was awarded the first Nobel Peace Prize. The movement aims to continue annual action across the whole world so that it would be a major contribution to peace. This idea was introduced just after World War I and evolved out of the “Red Cross Truce, an initiative that was studied by an international commission established at the 14th International Conference of the Red Cross. And after years of deliberations the proposal was adopted and the first Red Cross Day was celebrated on 8 May 1948. The official title of the day has changed over time, and it became “World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day” in 1984. Red Cross wants to prevent disease so that it will not be obliged to give care; it also wants to encourage the society to prevent wars rather than having to bear the serious consequences involved. This initiative having transformed into a massive global movement over multiple decades has a big impact on the public. As of today there is hardly any distress situation where Red Cross Society doesn’t reach to provide succour to the victims especially in wars. In this crown state of India the announcement by the Secretary of School Education, Farooq Ahmed Shah that government will constitute Red Cross Committees in all the educational institutions of the State, is really a welcome initiative on the part of the state administration. According to him the aim of the initiative is to train students in providing first aid to people caught in disaster. It is a fact that Education Department can play a vital role in producing best Red Cross volunteers from the schools. The State Red Cross Society too has been playing yeoman’s role in serving the people of the State in disaster and other eventualities be it the floods, earthquakes or even road accidents as was done by the Red Cross volunteers of Ramban district who saved many lives of Shri AmarnathjiYatries at Banihal last year when their bus rolled down and they were crying for help. While the focus is on serving the humanity, the World Red Cross Day is celebrated to make the people aware on how to save lives and get relief during natural calamities and other disasters. Now that the Secretary of School Education has asserted that proper guidelines would be issued soon to constitute Red Cross Committees in all the educational institutions of the state it is hoped that even the rest of citizens come forward to work with dedication for this noble cause that would ensure every face with a smile everywhere in the state where peace continues to be in tatters especially in the valley. This undoubtedly would be the greatest tribute to Sir Henry Dunant, the founder of the Red Cross.