Today is the World Red Cross Day! You would have surely heard of Red Cross – we all look forward to the Red Cross to provide relief, be it in distress and desolation during a war, natural or manmade calamities, famine, epidemics, healthcare, ambulance service, and other relief work.
The World Red Cross and Crescent Day is a humanitarian movement which aims to protect people’s lives and health, alleviate or prevent suffering and ensure respect is given to all. This is an annual event celebrated on May 8 in all countries of the world to mark the birth anniversary of Sir Jean Henri Dunant, born in Geneva, Switzerland on May 8, 1828. He was the founder of Red Cross and first recipient of Nobel Peace prize in 1901. The first Red Cross & Red Crescent Day was held in 1948.
How it all came about
In 1859, a battle was raging at the town of Solferino in Northern Italy. There, Henry Dunant saw thousands of soldiers killing each other. Appalled by the ghastly scenes of the battle of Solferino in 1859, he decided to do something for the wounded in the battlefield. Taking initiative he organized aid work. He wrote the book A Memory of Solferino, which contained a plan: all countries should form associations to help the sick and wounded on the battlefield – irrespective of the side they belonged to.
It changed the entire concept of relief and humanitarian service and led to the founding of the Red Cross on October 29, 1863. The International Committee of the Red Cross was established by Henri Dunant and five others and the following year it was adopted in the Geneva Convention. It laid down that all wounded soldiers in a land war should be treated as friends. Medical personnel would be protected by the red cross in a white field. The committee’s emblem was a Red Cross on white background. The Red Cross is known as Red Crescent in the Muslim countries and Red Star in Israel. The Red Cross is a milestone in the history of mankind.
Work of the Red Cross
The fundamental principles of Red Cross are humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality. The work of the Red Cross also includes first aid, emergency response, health and social care, preparing for disasters, refugee services and helping people find missing families. During times of war, the Red Cross helps to protect people in armed conflict.
The Red Cross was a major contribution to peace after the First World War introduced by the International Commission at the 14th International Conference of Red Cross. The Red Cross network had raised more than $3 billion for relief for the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami victims.
You can learn more about the history of The Red Cross in this video:
Or read a book about it here:
Have you been involved with Red Cross, or seen any of their work? Share with all of us!