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World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day Celebrations
19.05.2014 - New Delhi, India

The World Red Cross Day was celebrated on 8th of May, 2014.The event was attended by members of the Red Cross fraternity in New Delhii as well as dignitaries from various consulates and embassies among others.

Air Marshall Aditya Vikram Pethia (Retd) with Mary Werntz, Head of Delegation, ICRC
To mark the occasion, the journey of the Red Cross over the years was presented through a photo exhibition. Many retired officers of the Indian Navy, who had been taken as prisoners of war during the Indo-Pak war of 1971, were also present. They felt indebted to the Red Cross for extending help in probably their most nightmarish years. Air Marshal Aditya Vikram Pethia, Vir Chakra (Retd) narrated a few incidents from their travails.

The World Red Cross Day theme of this year is “My Red Cross Story”, through which the Movement wants to catalogue stories of all those who have been touched by Red Cross in some or the other way, either as a volunteer or beneficiary.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr S P Agarwal, Secretary General, Indian Red Cross Society narrated the story of Junior Red Crosser, Hiral of Navsari district of Gujarat, who jumped in a gushing river to bring out a hapless 4 month old infant and administered him first aid, thereby saving his life. Such little acts of bravery and such real life heroes should be applauded and brought to the forefront, he said.
Dr S P Agarwal, Secretary General, Indian Red Cross Society, speaking at the World Red Cross Day celebrations

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, Ms Mary Werntz, Head of Delegation in New Delhii, ICRC said, "the greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane." Recalling Mother Teresa’s words, “Do not wait, do it alone…person to person”, she said that this was a day to remember the power of an individual act of kindness and spontaneous acts of compassion.

Mary Werntz, Head of Delegation, ICRC addressing guests at the World Red Cross Day celebrations
This was a day to remember the Red Cross presence in almost every community in the World with a strong force of approximately 12 million volunteers. Mary Werntz said, that it was a time to remember the ongoing humanitarian crises in such places as the Central African Republic, the Philippines and Syria and many more. Humanitarian work takes Red Crossers onto battlefields, into prisons, to floods, cyclones, earthquakes, and to emergency camps where we witness the suffering of human beings. And here, life is at threat.

World Red Cross Day is celebrated to draw inspiration from the many little acts of humanity in everyday life and in times of crisis. A day, when everyone gets motivated by the efforts towards humanity, made by millions of Red Crossers across the world, that culminate and make it such a massive humane movement. From being Henry Dunant’s dream to completing 150 years of humanitarian service, the Red Cross Movement has always helped people across the world find shelter, food, water, livelihood, support and everything else they would require for a life of dignity, in times of disaster and conflict.
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