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Press Release 8th May : Indian Red Cross Relief for Nargis Victims
“Cyclone ‘Nargis’ that swept across Myanmar last weekend has engulfed minimum 25,000 lives and many more thousand are still missing. It is a manifestation of the fear that climate change is leading to increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Climate change is with us and it’s no more a conjecture”; says Prof. (Dr.) S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General during the observance of World Red Cross Day. As a mark of solidarity Indian Red Cross Society has sanctioned relief to the tune of Rs. 60 lakhs for the survivors of the cyclone in Myanmar.

Dr. Agarwal informed that he has triggered National Tree plantation campaign at State, District and Sub-district level by writing to the State Secretaries to plant more trees.
Planting a tree is a simple gesture, yet a strong symbol, of sustainable development as future generations shall reap fruits and find shadow under them. It also plays a key role in reducing pressure on the primary forest and preserving the original habitat in limiting the effects of erosion, in the absorption of CO2 and thus help reducing the global warming process.
The National Headquarters observed the World Red Cross Day by pledging to raise awareness on climate change and its human consequences in coming years.
To mark the occasion 10 saplings were planted in the IRCS campus, which was followed by a seminar on topic “working together to combat climate change”. Dr. Salim J. Habayab, WHO, Representative to India was the Chief Guest for the occasion.

Dr. Habayab said that the World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office for South East Asia (SEARO) and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have Memorandum of Understanding for technical and other collaboration to addresspublic health issues. Both share similar concern for the betterment of vulnerable population. Climate change impacts on health need to be addressed by both the organizations together before it gets too late.
Head of the Regional Delegation of the IFRC at New Delhii, Mr. AL Panico informed that no individual or isolated institution can counter threats posed by climate change. It has to be contained only through partnerships at all level.

Indian Red Cross under its disaster management programme has been preparing communities through its network of 700 branches with 12 million volunteers/members to deal with all kinds of hazards under its preparedness and mitigation activities. Now more efforts would be laid to deal with emerging challenges of climate change.

Indian Red Cross across the country observed the day by raising awareness of general public on climate change by organizing rallies, seminars, street plays and similar other events. H.E. Dr. A.R. Kidwai, Governor of Haryana-cum-President, Haryana State branch flagged off a ChetnaRally in Yamuna Nagar. General S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab, Mr. Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, Governor of Orissa and Heads of State and Government in several states launched awarness campaign on climate change today.

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