The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee called upon the young men and women to come forward in a big way and take part in voluntary blood donation. Speaking as chief guest at the ceremonial session of the Annual General Meeting of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) and St. John Ambulance (India) at Rashtrapati Bhavan Auditorium.
He said that greater sensitization of our youth towards this important social service is absolutely necessary. “Our efforts must be to ensure that not a single person in need of blood is left unanswered”, he added.
The President congratulated all the award winners, who had been recognized for their exemplary services towards humanitarian causes. He said that the Red Cross, in its history of 150 years, has upheld the fundamental values of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.
He appreciated that in India, the Indian Red Cross Society and St. John Ambulance have been at the forefront of humanitarian service in the country since 1920 and have increased the reach of their programmes. They have marked their presence increasingly through schools of nursing, homes for the elderly, tuberculosis programmes, disaster response and preparedness, and education on positive attitude for children and youth, he said. Millions of people have benefitted from the expansion in their efforts, he added.
On the occasion, he presented four medals and twelve shield awards to volunteers and branches of Indian Red Cross Society and six medals and four shield awards to volunteers and centres of St. John Ambulance (India) in recognition of their committed services.