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World Red Cross Day, 2019

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  • Published
    17th May, 2019

World Red Cross Day or Red Crescent Day is annually observed on May 8.


World Red Cross Day or Red Crescent Day is annually observed on May 8.


World Red Cross Day

  • It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swiss businessman, Henri Dunant.
  • This year’s theme is “love”, which mainly focused on asking people about what they love about Red Cross and Red Crescent.
  • It is celebrated across the world by the National Societies affiliates to the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross).
  • Aim of the day: To pay tribute to the volunteers participated in the event as well as welcome their precious contribution for helping people in need.

Red Cross symbol

  • It is an inversion of the Swiss flag (white cross on a red background).
  • In February 1863, a five-member committee met to study Dunant’s proposals like:
  • Single distinctive symbol backed by the law to indicate respect for army medical services, volunteers with first aid societies and the victims of armed conflicts.
  • The symbol needed to be simple, identifiable from a distance, known to everyone and identical for friend and foe.
  • The emblem had to be the same for everyone and universally recognizable.
  • An International Conference convened in October 1863 adopted ten resolutions for the establishment of relief societies for wounded soldiers and the Red Cross.
  • In August 1864, the Diplomatic Conference, convened for the purpose of transforming the resolutions adopted in 1863 into treaty rules, adopted the First Geneva Convention.
  • The Geneva Convention also recognized the Red Cross on a white background as a unique distinctive emblem.

Henri Dunant

  • He had witnessed the suffering of wounded soldiers abandoned on the battlefield of Solferino in northern Italy in 1859. He became the recipient of 1st Nobel Peace Prize.
  • When he returned to Geneva, he wrote A Memory of Solferino about the horrors of war.
  • His efforts led to the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (dedicated to helping the war wounded soldiers), adoption of Geneva conventions and creation of the iconic Red Cross symbol.


 Indian Red Cross Society

  • The Indian Red Cross is a voluntary humanitarian organization 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.
  • 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 was formed in 1994.
  • 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.

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