Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Time to Smile for the GIBS students and staff on World Red Cross Day

Global Institute of Business Studies earnestly observes a series of activities and celebrations each year, dedicated to academics and social services. Blood Donation Camp and Health Checkup were two of those occasions. Rather than mere lip service in honor of all the causes, it is necessary to be involved in spirit and contribute to human betterment, our best wishes extending to all sentient beings. “Memorable smiles from around the world” as the World Red Cross Day theme for 2018 could not have been more encouraging.

Remember the world Red Cross theme for 2017? “Less Known Red Cross Stories!” The media brings us sad stories of conflict, diseases, malnutrition, violence and injustice on a large scale each day. The fight is not lost because if there are vultures and devils around us, there will exist doves and angels too. It is a perpetual conflict between the opposing forces of good and evil that is constantly being fought. No side will win in this never ending story.

Henry Dunant, the founder, is remembered on his birthday each year

Celebrating his birthday on 8th May, Henry Dunant founded the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Each of us can do a little bit towards mitigating human suffering. Just imagine the millions who lack the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing and struggle with endless problems each day of their lives.  The problem is huge globally and that is why it cannot be easily solved. Yet, is it really impossible?

What happened after the First World War? Too many people died and suffering was excessive with many countries involved. Missing soldiers, the injured and the dead, homes destroyed and families broken up. In such a situation, the Red Cross goes into action. Volunteers and social workers, doctors and nurses keep the organization alive.

Red Cross day on an international level

It is difficult to understand the extent of the Red Cross movement. Covering most countries across the world and involving millions of workers and volunteers in organizations large and small, it is a small army at work. Such organizations work around the year because emergencies are constantly happening.  Floods and earthquakes, typhoons and cyclones are not uncommon. The noblest duty is alleviation of suffering. But that is easy to say. You need materials and money, organizations, workers and hard labor. Just imagine working in war zones or in earthquake affected regions?

Universal values concern each of us and every country cherishes the principles of neutrality and independence, impartiality and duty. The service of humanity takes us high above narrow thinking about religion and caste, politics and dogma. Celebrating the dignity and worth of the human race is the primary goal. Everybody has the right to live with dignity and wishes to be well settled in peaceful surroundings where the essentials of life are available.

The spirit of volunteerism

What paid workers cannot achieve would be possible through the spirit of voluntary services! Many honorary services exist in the society around us that are not paid for but done in the spirit of service. Volunteers do not seek payments for services, but receive a working allowance. Each of us should contribute some voluntary services just like the little bit of charity that everybody can afford. If those little bits of service and charity were added up, we can well imagine that the drops will make up an ocean.

The embrace of the Red Cross covers the entire world, since humanity is present everywhere. Each neighborhood, village, town and city has citizens dedicated to noble causes who will not mind sacrificing sleep and rest to relieve suffering. They would be willing to give a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on. Just like teachers and nurses, volunteers represent the finest values of service before self.

On several occasions, GIBS girls and boys have demonstrated that they are dedicated to social causes and the clubs and committees have been taking up many duties for the common welfare.  This altruistic spirit should continue beyond the years spent in the institute premises and be carried on in professional, social and family roles after the completion of studies. 

A shared dream of a smiling society

The theme for 2018 does remind us of happy smiles. That dream is certainly far from being realized, but a mighty mountain can be climbed only gradually. Social service is being done each single day, but will that be enough? Big money, power, legislation and laws, facilities and change of thinking will be required to make a difference on a large scale. The haves and have-nots in the society have a vast difference. Slowly but surely, bridges have to be built and suffering, poverty, malnutrition and misery reduced. Maybe it will be many ages before the dream is realized, but work is being done each single moment by like-minded people everywhere.

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