World Red Cross Day 2021 is on Saturday, May 8, 2021. World Red Cross Day is celebrated on 8th May as on this day Henery Dunant, who is a founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize was born. It came into existence in 1919 and today it coordinates between the 192 National Red Cross Societies within the Movement, internationally in close cooperation with the National Societies. The International Federation Secretariat is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Each entity works in its home country according to the principles of international humanitarian law and the statutes of the international Movement.
The motive of celebrating Red Cross day is to reduce and terminate the suffering situation among people and raise their dignity to the next level. It isn’t only about growing the dignity of an individual but it is also about protecting the lives of the people from natural disasters situations like an earthquake, floods, storms, war, famine, diseases, or natural disaster etc. Another primary reason for celebrating World Red Cross Day is to honour and commemorate the birthday of Henry Dunant, the founder of the Society. World Red Cross Day is celebrated worldwide by the Red Cross Organizations of the Country.
COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND EXPECTED ROLE OF RED CROSS SOCIETY TO SAFEGUARD INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
Indian Red Cross Society is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement with its branches/chapters in nearly every state and UT of the Country. Here I shall discuss the expected role of State Red Cross Societies, during COVID-19 Pandemic crises, in respect to individuals with disabilities in a simple and understandable way which could be very convenient for all the stakeholders in this regard. The expected role of the State Red Cross Society is highlighted as below:-
- It should give priority to reach the persons with disability for their health care help required.
- It should collect the data of individuals with disabilities from the Government Departments associated with these persons.
- It should collect the details of persons with disabilities from the Organisations and the Institutions working in this sector.
- It should create a separate cell to address the present COVID-19 Pandemic issues via their website by providing a 24×7 helpline dedicated for these people.
- It should have a language interpreter to understand the problem of the individuals with Hearing & Speech impairment problem.
- It should associate with the Organisations and Institutions concerned, in addition to Govt Departments to have immediate reach to such individuals.
- It should high light their programmes, in this regard, in print, electronic and social media for the information of general masses and the individual with disabilities.
- It should designate a separate group of volunteers to help, reach and deal with such individuals especially in this COVID-19 Pandemic crises.
- It should develop and implement specific programmes and services for the persons with disabilities.
- It should try to arrange assistive tools like wheel-chairs, hearing aids, cane sticks, walkers etc. for the needy individuals with disabilities in this pandemic.
(Writer: M Ahmad, Srinagar, J&K)