President praises work of Red Cross

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday stressed on the need for better outreach of the government’s social programmes while praising the work of the Indian Red Cross Society.

The President was speaking here at the ceremonial session of the annual general meeting of the Indian Red Cross Society and St. John Ambulance (India). He also presented awards for the best performing branches and distinguished Red Cross and St. John volunteers on the occasion.

“Our vast country needs more numbers — more skilled human resources — not only for times of trouble but also when normalcy prevails, to help bring our government’s social programmes within reach of the target communities,” Mukherjee said.

He said the awards are a fitting recognition of the outstanding work of individuals and organisations in relief and rescue, promoting health, providing care to the vulnerable and advancing these objectives by educating communities.

“The work of the Red Cross in risk reduction, capacity building, humanitarian logistics, development work, disaster and crisis management has been invaluable in providing relief and succour across the world,” Mukherjee said.

He expressed concern over migration — whether internal or across borders — and said “in such situations the need is not only of material relief and involvement of well trained volunteers but also for hands-on support by society at large and delivered in a sensitive and humane manner”.