On 10 May 2016 a new chapter was added to the glorious history of the Indian Red Cross. The President of the University College of Dublin, Ireland, Prof Andrew Deeks, Head, International Affairs, Irish Red Cross, Mr John Roche and the Acting Secretary General of the Indian Red Cross Society, Dr Veer Bhushan signed a Memorandum of Understanding. As per the MoU the three partners have decided to, among other things, to use technology for crowd sourcing for the existing TB control programme being implemented in Punjab. It also proposes to work on development of first aid mobile app as well as study & evaluation of projects being implemented by IRCS.
The President of the College, Prof Deeks, talked about the glorious history of the college which is 152 years old. He said that the strong desire to bring technology and new ideas in the field of humanitarian work are path breaking. He was accompanied by a team of senior professors, including a computer science professor Dr Elemi Mangina. Citing the lessons learnt from the Haiti earthquake she said, “Future of engineering belongs to digital humanitarianism. As after Haiti earthquake, volunteers could be mobilized through online initiatives”.
Mr John Roche from the Ireland Red Cross in his address mentioned, “Irish Red Cross and the University College of Dublin have been working at community level programmes in Ireland. This venture shall strengthen IRCS programme monitoring and evaluation system”. He added that initial work shall take place at the University College.
Dr Veer Bhushan, Acting Secretary General, called the occasion historic. He mentioned that after IRCS partnership with IIT, Mandi, and with the support offered by IIM, Ahmadabad this MoU shall bring management and technology even more closer to the field of community care and support.
The ambassador of Ireland, H.E. Mr Brain Mceldff was also present on the occasion. He mentioned that Ireland contributes 2.5 million Euros to the core funding of IFRC. He also shared the contribution of Ireland in several activities and health projects in India and said, ‘It is a well thought out project and the collaboration shall be meaningful and result oriented”.
IIT Mandi was live streaming during the entire function. Prof Varun Dutta from the institute talked about the work that they are doing with IRCS and what they contemplate to do with the IRCS Mandi branch and IRCS Nhq.