This report covers the period 1 January to 31 December 2012
The past year has seen significant achievements by both the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) India country office. IRCS laid the foundations of its flagship programme first medical responders (FMR) by forming a team of experts which developed the curriculum for FMR trainings, ensuring that lessons learnt during the pilot phase (Uttarakhand) were considered and addressed. The National Society has identified a set of key skills which its volunteers must possess in order to be a FMR. The FMR trainings build on existing skills of volunteers and helping them to acquire more skills through a systematic learning process.
The year started with Cyclone Thane striking the southern states and a union territory causing widespread devastation, particularly in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry union territory. The quick response of local branches and national headquarters to assist the affected population with both food and non-food items, and restore family links through the family news service illustrated the progress made by IRCS in recent years in terms of disaster response.
IRCS also made best efforts to reach the most vulnerable people in response to a complex emergency in Assam. Floods were followed by outbreak of the communal violence, which virtually halted the IRCS operation for a month. However, thanks to the commitment and strong efforts of volunteers and staff, the operation partially met its objectives, an achievement considering the operational and security constraints.
This operation also marked the first time National Society staff and volunteers extensively used social media to disseminate the developments on the ground during the relief operations.
Projects such as Sikkim earthquake relief, renovation of IRCS main building basement stores, and the Kolkata warehouse renovation were concluded. The key activities of the National Society to build capacities of its branches in the areas of disaster preparedness and risk reduction continued. IRCS aligned its disaster risk reduction (DRR) programme structure to FMR programme. The Maharashtra community-based DRR programme progressed towards conclusion while a new DRR programme was launched in Gujarat to address risks in urban and rural areas.