Indian Red Cross Society and St John Ambulance India was jointly held on 27 th September, 2011 at D.S Kothari Auditorium, DRDO Bhavan, New Delhii.
The meeting was presided over by the Chairman of IRCS & St John Ambulance, India, the Hon’ble Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad on behalf of the President of the two organizations, President of India. Member delegates included the Governors of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Shri B.L Joshi, Chattisgarh, Shri Shekhar Dutt and Lt Governor of UT of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Shri Bhupinder Singh.
The Secretary General, IRCS, Dr S.P Agarwal in his welcome speech extended a warm welcome to the august gathering as well as all other participants from all over the country. He also highlighted the major activities of the Indian Red Cross and St John since the last AGM held in 2004. He further added that Indian Red Cross shall remain persistent in its efforts to minimize human suffering and participate actively in building a more disaster resilient nation.
The Governors of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands congratulated and lauded the efforts and achievements of Indian Red Cross Society over last several years, as the Governor of Chattisgarh Shri Shekhar Dutt opined, “We started as an organization providing relief and rescue services in conflict situations, now is running a blood bank, organizes health check –up and is also implementing a project on sickle- cell anaemia”.
The Chairman in the inaugural session, gave away the awards to individuals and units of the two organizations for their distinguished services, enrollment of membership, blood collection and trainings in first aid & allied subjects.
The Awards presented are as follows:
The inaugural session was followed by the business session in which the annual Reports and annual Accounts for the years 2004-5 till 2010-11 were presented, considered and adopted. Auditors of the Society were appointed and the budgets estimates for the aforesaid period were passed.
Addressing the delegates and guests in the inaugural session, Shri Azad said that he was happy to note the increased role and recognition of Indian Red Cross in the country. He added that equipped with latest communication tools, emergency response units, mobile disaster units and medical disaster units the Red Crossers are always ready to initiate assessment and relief work in times of natural calamity or any other disaster. He recalled IRCS’s trigger mechanism during the Leh cloud burst in August, 2010. Shri Azad also informed that due to persistent efforts IRCS has obtained tax exemption for the income of society on a perpetual basis under the Income Tax Act. Also a bill, has been passed in Parliament which will cover organizations like the Indian Red Cross under section 10(46) of the Income Tax Act and inter alia would enable Indian Red Cross to spend funds outside India to help vulnerable people. The necessary notification to this effect would be issued by the Ministry of Finance, Govt of India, shortly.