New Delhi, Feb 10, 2021: Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare distributed woolen blankets, masks and soaps among the destitute persons staying in Vishram Sadan at AIIMS, New Delhi yesternight. Shri R. K. Jain, Secretary General, Red Cross Society, Prof. R. Guleria, Director, AIIMS and other senior officials of AIIMS were also present on the occasion.

In his address to the audience at the ceremony, the Union Health Minister thanked the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) for taking the initiative of distributing blankets for the people in need during the ongoing cold season.

Dr Harsh Vardhan recalled that the IRCS has committedly helped people in need since 1920 and has a rich history of humanitarian endeavours. Their work is not limited only to disasters and emergencies, it also regularly carries out various social development activities. Red Cross supplemented the efforts of government during Lockdown helping those who got stuck in Lockdown and also ensured blood availability throughout the pandemic, he stated.

Talking about the challenge posed by COVID19, the Union Minister highlighted that the vaccine for the prevention of COVID19 has been approved and the Government of India have already started the largest vaccination drive in the world. He also stated that, the fact that the vaccine is developed indigenously, “shows the great capacity our country has and is a big boost to the Prime Minister’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative”.

In appreciation of the IRCS’s active role in reducing the impact of COVID-19, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated, “it gives me a sense of pride that IRCS is playing an important role in the fight against COVID-19. The multidimensional response with a broad range of activities by IRCS for the ongoing COVID-19 emergency is testimonial of IRCS’s capacity as an organization and moreover, the commitment & relentless services by our volunteers. IRCS has deployed more than 40,000 (forty thousand) trained volunteers in more than 500 districts across the country and has contributed immensely in reducing the impact of COVID-19”.

The Minister ended his address by thanking all volunteers, partners, both within and outside of the movement, stakeholders, members and all other who have directly, indirectly contributed in IRCS’s humanitarian agenda as the largest statutory & humanitarian organization in India.