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SG’s Message on Youth Day India, 12th January, 2015

The Red Cross Movement celebrates Youth Day. Youth Day-India is perhaps the first day of the New Year which is celebrated by India. It is the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, whose life and philosophy has since generation’s motivated youth to be do-gooders of the society. He personified the eternal energy of youth and their restless quest for truth.

India is a young country with youth making a major proportion of the total population. According to estimates the current proportion of population under 25 years in India is 51% and the proportion under 35 is about 66%. This predominance of youth in the population is expected to last until 2050, with the average age of an Indian in 2020 expected to be 29 years.

With such a burst of youthful energy, it is imperative to devise programmes and systems where this exuberance can by worthily employed. And no society has progressed in a true sense without the participation of its youth. The Indian Red Cross Society with its Junior and Youth Red Cross wings initiates the journey of the youth in our country towards community development programmes. Our volunteers are the emissaries of good work. From health, hygiene, blood donation to evacuation, relief and rehabilitation during and post disasters, our volunteers reach out to whoever they can.

The First Medical Responders programme was visualized keeping the youthful energy of the country in mind. The IRCS trains young volunteers to be the first ground actors whenever and wherever disasters strike. And even in peace time, they are involved in activities aimed at disaster preparedness and resilience building. After the inception of the programme in 2011, the FMRs have been actively involved in all the relief activities of IRCS in disasters that the country has seen since then. The FMRs are part of the community and thus the first to rush in times of emergencies and offer relief through shelter, clean drinking water, psychosocial support and first aid. The IRCS routinely holds refresher and induction trainings for the FMRs at the state and the national level.

On this Youth Day, I would like to call upon the burgeoning young population of the country to come forward, to recognize their capacities for evolving as humanitarians and build upon it. India can get rid of many of its problems if the youth act a cohesive force for accomplishing change. I invite the youth to be part of this positive change.

Dr S P Agarwal
Secretary General,
Indian Red Cross Society

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