Governor N. N. Vohra, President, Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), J&K, chaired the 174th meeting of State Managing Committee (SMC) of IRCS, J&K, Branch here at the Raj Bhavan. Bali Bhagat, Minister for Health and Medical Education, participated in the meeting.
Governor stressed the need for organising Red Cross Melas in each District, especially in Ladakh and other tourist places in Kashmir, for generating funds for IRCS. It was also decided to install donation boxes at Airports, Railway Stations and Hotels to collect donations for the noble cause of the IRCS and Chief Secretary was asked to issue instructions regarding voluntary contributions from the Government employees.
Governor reviewed the activities carried out by the Society during the last one year and stressed the importance of imparting for First-Aid Training programmes on a extensive scale, particularly for commercial drivers and Police recruits. He directed Chief Secretary to make the First Aid Training compulsory for the issuance of driving licences to commercial drivers and ADGP, Police Headquarters, was directed to institutionalize such training programmes for Police recruits in the Police Training Schools, as this would help in saving precious lives in case of emergencies.
Governor suggested the need of institutionalisation of funds for the treatment of poor people who suffer from terminal illnesses and emphasised need for arrangement of patient care facilities at Jammu and Srinagar. Chief Secretary informed that MLAs can now spend upto Rs. 10.00 lacs out of their Constituency Development Fund on the treatment of the poor suffering from threatening life diseases and other serious illnesses. General Secretary, IRCS, was asked to prepare a Project Report for setting up Blood Banks at District level, which will be pursued with the National Headquarters, IRCS, New Delhi.
Stressing the need to make Red Cross activities more meaningful, Governor emphasized that the need of the hour is to build a large pool of volunteers for ensuring participation of people from the grass root level. Principal Secretary, Education Department, was directed to involve CBSE Schools for enrolment of students as JRC/YRC to increase the resource base for IRCS funds. All the Deputy Commissioners were directed to create a conducive environment for mobilizing resources for the humanitarian activities of the Society, including organization of more Red Cross Melas at the District level.
Governor directed the Commissioner Public Works (R&B) Department to urgently review construction of Red Cross Bhavan at Srinagar and ensure that the building work commences without any delay. He was also directed to get the existing building of Indian Red Cross Society, Kashmir, made functional on urgent basis.
The Policy framed for the conferment of awards to Volunteers was confirmed by the SMC. Accordingly, General Secretary IRCS, was directed to identify Red Cross Volunteers who deserve awards for their humanitarian services, for their cases being viewed by the Committee set up to recommend Awards.
Governor directed Hony General Secy IRCS, to bring out an annual calendar for the training of State and District Disaster Response Teams. He also stressed that the District Committees should be well-equipped for dealing with any type of disaster. Divisional Commissioners were also directed to make available proper space for storage of relief materials received from IRCS, National Headquarters, New Delhi, and other organisations. Stores should be located at such places so that during disasters these could be used properly managed efficiently for making their best use during disasters. Divisional Commissioners shall review the availability of relief materials in the districts for dealing with any exigencies in future.
While reviewing the present status of the Jan Aushadi Scheme, the Committee stressed the need to create wide spread awareness about the availability of generic drugs at fixed prices from the Jan Aushadi Generic Drug Stores which are being run by the Red Cross in the State. The medicines made available in these stores are at the rates prescribed by the Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India which in most cases are significantly lower than the market rates of branded medicines. SMC directed the Deputy Commissioners of all the districts to open Jan Aushadi Shops at District and Sub-District Hospitals.
Honorary General Secretary IRCS, informed SMC about the programmes and initiatives for the Financial Year 2016-17, including the Safer Access Framework (SAF) to increase access of volunteers to people in need of humanitarian assistance; Youth Project which is intended to increase the knowledge of First Aid among the students, particularly females, by training them in the basics of First Aid and also to increase awareness and address the water, sanitation and personal hygiene issues in two selected villages from two districts of the State. J&K State Branch has also started training workers in different departments with special focus on “First Aid at Workplace”.
R. Sharma, Chief Secretary, Umang Narula, Principal Secretary to the Governor, R.K Goyal, Principal Secretary, Home, Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary Education, Navin K. Chouhary, Commissioner/Secretary Finance, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Rohit Kansal, Commissioner/Secretary PWD, V. K. Singh, ADGP, HQ J&K, Maj. Gen. Rakesh Kumar, MG Med, Ram Avtar, IG, BSF Jammu, Sheetal Nanda, Deputy Commissioner Samba; Neeraj Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Udhampur; Ramesh Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Kathua, Ravinder Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Reasi; Shri Mohammad Haroon Malik, Deputy Commissioner, Poonch; Anuradha Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, Jammu; Prof. Nusrat Andrabi; A.M. Mir, Prof. Mohd. Abdullah Charoo, Prem Gupta, Y.V. Sharma and Ms Seema Shekhar Khajuria, Members of the State Managing Committee, IRCS participated in the meeting.