A commemorative postage stamp on the 50th Anniversary of the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) :
Issued on Nov 5, 1970
Issued for : Red Cross principles are akin to those of Mahatma Gandhi and it was a happy coincidence that the Golden Jubilee of the Red Cross is being celebrated the year following the Gandhi Centenary Year. The Posts and Telegraphs Department is happy to associate itself with these celebrations in bringing out a special commemorative stamp on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of this humanitarian organisation.
Description of Design : The design of the stamp is vertical showing a nurse dressing the head of a patient lying on bed. The Red Cross symbol is also shown at the top right hand corner.
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Max. Con Blue Grey & Brilliant Red
Denomination : 20 Paise
Overall Size : 3.91 X 2.90 cms.
Printing Size : 3.56 X 2.54 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Watermark : Printed on Asoka Pillar water–marked adhesive stamp paper
Number Printed : 30,00,000
Number per issue sheet : 35
Printing Process : Photogravure
Designed and Printed at : India Security Press
- Established by an Act of the Indian Legislature in 1920, the Indian Red Cross Society is a voluntary humanitarian organisation. It has on its roll 21 State and 513 District and sub-district branches with a total membership of nearly 2 lakh adults and 50 lakh juniors [all the stats were at the time of issuance of this stamp]. It is a national institution embodying the ideal of fraternal help and is truly free from religious, sectarian or political affiliations. Its activities are directed towards ‘Improvement of Health, prevention of Disease and Mitigation of Suffering’.
- Ever since its inception, the Society has been organising relief measures for victims of floods, fires, earthquakes and food scarcity in various parts of the country. The extent of help it has given can be gauged from the fact that during the last 20 years alone [before the issuance of the stamp], it has distributed relief worth Rs. 7 crores. The drought relief work undertaken by the Society in 1966-67, benefited over 10 lakh individuals through 10,000 Red Cross Centres in 14 States. The supplies distributed were valued about Rs. 3 crores.
- To the victims of natural calamities, the Society gave in 1968 relief worth about Rs. 20 lakhs. Besides, every year on an average, about 200 hospitals, medical units and other welfare institutions are helped.
- The Indo–Pakistan conflict set off a period of intense activity for the Indian Red Cross which was called upon to render traditional wartime Red Cross services. The sick and wounded hospitalised jawans were supplied many amenity articles. Thousands of persons were trained in first-aid and home nursing. The Red Cross Blood Bank supplied about 2,000 bottles of blood to military hospitals. Over 2,500 gift parcels were sent for the Indian prisoners of war in Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistani prisoners of war in Indian military hospitals were helped by the Society. Exchange of letters with our prisoners of war in Pakistan as well as messages from civilians from India to the civilians in Pakistan were arranged with the help of I.C.R.C. delegates.
- The Red Cross is, perhaps, the only organisation that touches the life of an individual at some stage. Red Cross influence begins before birth. The Society’s Maternity and Child Welfare Bureaux established in 1931 provide technical advice and assistance to its branches and others interested in the development of these services. The Society also lays emphasis on family planning work. It is running over 300 family planning centres in the country.
- Junior Red Cross has been making a steady progress – both in membership and standard of service. Its present strength is nearly 50 lakh boys and girls organised in more than 40,000 groups. Brought up in an atmosphere of Red Cross ideals, the Juniors are developing into worthy citizens of the country and the Junior Red Cross movement is making a significant contribution to the building of our nation.
- The St. John Ambulance Association, which functions as the ambulance wing of the Society, has trained nearly 39 lakh persons in first-aid, home nursing and allied subjects. The members of the St. John Ambulance Brigade render first-aid and other services at public gatherings, sports meets, refugee camps, fairs, festivals, etc.
- Health education is one of the main functions of the Society. Health propaganda undertaken by the Society mainly aims at disseminating information about the means of preventing sickness. The Society also publishes two journals, ‘The Indian Red Cross Journal‘ and the ‘Indian Junior‘. It has a film library and a film unit for assistance in the health propaganda.
- Red Cross Blood Transfusion services are being developed rapidly. Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Orissa already have Red Cross Blood Banks and the programme is being developed in other States.
- The Society’s home nursing programme launched in all States and Union Territories of India has taken considerable strides during the past decade. Nearly 800 instructors have been trained since the launching of the scheme and a number of lay persons trained in home nursing stands at over one lakh.
- The Red Cross Society by its service to the sick and the wounded is humane and humanity generating. It may take time before Red Cross is able to serve the cause of peace in an effective manner. However, there is no doubt with its activities, it could certainly do much to promote international peace.