Red Cross Society: In the Service of Humanity

Back in the early years, the situations in society and the condition of people were not so pleasing. Many deteriorations already took place far from being fixed. For the conservation of human rights and people, some measures were purposely required. Red Cross Society, a name known worldwide now, was started as a humanitarian network to help the needy. And most of us are aware of what significance it has achieved over the years. 

International Red Cross Society

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is now basically a global humanitarian network. This network consists of approximately about 80 million people who help the victims facing disaster, conflict, and health or social problems. It consists of about a total of 191 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Currently, the President of the International Committee of The Red Cross (ICRC) is Peter Maurer. 

The work of the ICRC is basically based on the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The ICRC is an independent and neutral unbiased organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for the victims of situations of violence or armed conflict.

Indian Red Cross Society

IRCS is a voluntary humanitarian organization for protecting human life and health in India. It is an ascendant part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The motive of IRCS is to provide relief in times of disasters or emergencies and to promote health and to take care of the vulnerable people and communities. During the time of First World War, relief services for soldiers who were affected in India were provided by a branch of the Joint War Committee, a collaboration between St. John Ambulance Association and the British Red Cross. 

On March 3, 1920, a bill was formally introduced to the Indian Legislative Council by Sir Claude Hill for the constitution of the Indian Red Cross Society, independent of the British Red Cross. The Bill was finally passed known as the Indian Red Cross Society Act, 1920 on March 17th. Fifty members were formally nominated for constituting the Indian Red Cross Society from the members of the Indian branch of the Joint War Committee.

Indian Red Cross Society Strategic Development Plan 

People might live in different types of residential areas, from huge societies to isolated villages. They may even speak different languages. But despite this diversity, they all want the best for their families and children and to make them live in peace and harmony. All the economic and health support, personal dignity, and a supportive community are also desirable. But also, many people are at risk because of the situations that threaten their capability to live in minimum socio-economic security and human dignity, they are completely vulnerable

IRCS works with other societies all over the world to improve the lives of vulnerable humankind by channeling the power of humanity itself. The vision of IRCS is to become a leading humanitarian organization that serves vulnerable people. To fulfill this insight requires several development activities. Many among them have been identified during the process of developing this National Development Plan. Three strategic directions, four objectives, and seventeen actions have been defined in total.

Organizational Details

  1. The IRCS has 35 State or Union Territories Branches with more than 700 districts and sub-district branches. 
  2. The President of India is to be the President of IRCS as well.
  3. The Chairman of the society is the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Vice-Chairman is selected by the Managing Body.
  4. The National Managing Body consists of a total of 19 members.
  5. The Chairman and the other 6 members of the managing body are selected by the President and the remaining 12 are elected by the State and Union Territory branches by an electoral college.  
  6. The Managing Body has the responsibility for governance and supervision of functions of the society through various numbers of committees.
  7. The Secret General is the Chief Executive of the society.
Programs of IRCS

It is grouped into four main core areas:

Promoting Humanitarian- IRCS promotes human values, which encourages respecting other human beings and a willingness to work together and find solutions to the problems. The fundamental principle of IRCS aims at influencing the behavior of people.
Disaster Response- It continues to represent the largest portion of IRCS work. With the help of assistance to millions of people, they help numerous humans ranging from the refugees to the victims themselves of natural disasters.

Disaster Preparedness- The sudden increase in the number and intensity of natural disasters across the whole country in recent years had promoted IRCS to give more attention to the disaster preparedness activities. They aim in making Red Cross Societies and the communities more aware of the risks they could face, how to reduce their vulnerability at the moment, and cope up with the situation in better ways when the disaster strikes.

Health and Community Care - It has become a milestone of the humanitarian assistance, accounting for a large part of Red Cross spending.

Other major activities include- Hospital services, blood bank, HIV/AIDS programs, home for disabled servicemen, railway, accidents, vocational training centers, tracing activities, maternity, child and family welfare, nursing, and many numerous services.


Read more: Programs and Activities of Indian Red Cross Society



The human race has seen many tragic times like wars, floods, natural calamities, and whatnot. Through all the highs and lows, IRCS has been working to look after all the individuals in trouble. It is continuously chasing its vision in order to make the world a better and safer place for all human beings alike. 


Read more: Killing of Archduke Franz and World War 1


Written By - Pavas Shrigyan 

Edited By - Neha Kundu


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