Our History

No image

 Indian Red Cross society was formed in the Geneva Convention of 1864.  The experiences of Mr. Jean Henri Dunant, a Young Swiss businessman, in the battle field at solferino, Italy where the Franco Austrian war was occurred in 1859, made him to publish the book “Memory of Solferino”. The touching experience of Henri Dunant which was narrated in the book raised the conscience of the heads of nations and resulted in convening the Geneva Convention of 1864, which established the International Red Cross Movement.


As an honor for the country “Switzerland and the originator of the idea Henri Dunant, the Geneva Convention of 1864 selected the name and emblem of the movement by reversing the Swiss national flag (Red Cross white background instead of white cross in red background).


Lady, Clara Burton made the organization as today.  Today Red Cross society is ready to help the people who are suffering from earthquake, flood fire and natural calamities etc.




  Indian Red Cross Society was formed under Parliament Act XV of 1920.  The President of India is the President of the Indian Red Cross Society,.   The Secretary General is the Chief Executive of the Society. The President of the State Branch is the Governor of the state.  At the District Level the President is District Collector. The General Secretary is the Chief Executive of the   branch.




The formation and development of the Indian Red Cross Society, Ernakulam District Branch were closely related to the Historical development in the state and changes from the rule of Maharaja to the system of democracy.  The Red Cross Society was formed in the erstwhile Cochin state with the initiative of Sir George Bogue the Diwan of Cochin and under the patronage of the Maharaja of Cochin in 1944.


Even after the formation of Travancore Cochin State and subsequent development of Kerala State, the branch had been functioning up to 1960 under the banner at Cochin Branch.  The former Maharaja of Cochin H.H Rama Varma, continued to be the patron and he nominated the chairman every year.  The superintendent of the General Hospital Ernakulam was the Hon. Secretary them.


During 1960 the bye law was amended in line with the central bye law.  The same year the Trichur District Branch was formed and consequently got itself separated from Cochin Branch.  In 1961 District Collector and District Medical Officer took charge as the ex officio President and Hon. Secretary respectively, and named the branch as Ernakulam District Branch.  The programmes of the society used to be finalized in the Executive Committee meeting and the office was functioning as a part of the office of District Medical Officer (Health)


In 1996, the bye law was amended and a popular Managing Committee was constituted with Shri V.PJoy, District Collector as the ex-officio President, District Medical officer as the ex-officio vice President, Smt Retnakala S Menon – Vice President (elected) Shri Joseph J Palakkapilly Hon. Secretary, Adv.V.D Balakrishna Kartha – Treasurer, Shri Jose Francis- JRC Secretary, and seven committee members, The committee organized Taluk branches


Since the society was formed during World War II, the programmes in forties were to mitigate the sufferings of the victims of war and welfare of ex-service men.  In the decades of fifties and sixties the society took initiative to distribute food items, blankets etc. to deserving people who were suffering with poverty and natural disaster.  The distributions were arranged through various social agencies in the field


In 1961 the Executive Committee decided to have a building for Blood Bank at General Hospital Ernakulam.  A Committee was constituted with Dr. K.G Thanakamma , District Medical Officer as the Secretary, Shri M K K Nair, Shri Joseph Chakola Dr uremese and Smt. Ambadi Karthiyayiani Amma were the members.  In May 1962 the building was inaugurated by His Excellency Shri V.V Giri, the then Governor of Kerala.  The Society handed over the ground floor of the building to the General Hospital Ernakulam for the Blood Bank.  A Government order was issued to this effect.  By the same order, the Indian Red Cross Society was permitted to use the first floor of the building for its programmes and functions.


In1973 when Chellanam village was struck by sea erosion, which destroyed hundreds of households leaving thousands homeless, the society could manage with the support of the International Red Cross Society to rebuild the village.  The timely relief action was appreciated by the Government.  Smt.Ratnakala S Menon who was in charge of the project was honoured with National Award by the President of India.

Chairman's Message

No image

International Federation of Red Cross Society, a disaster mitigation and charitable organization started at Geneva Convention in the year 1863.Later in the year 1920 Indian Red Cross Society was constituted by the parliament under act XV of 1920.Now there are more than 700 branches all over India,Ernakulam district branch is honored as one of the best district branches in Kerala. With sub branches at taluk level and sub units in various panchayats,Ernakulam District Branch has been a helping hand for the poor and the needy

Extended care for psychologically challenge patients was provided by Ernakulam District Branch, and also First Aid Training is imparted to the public and the employees of various organizations.A specialized unit-Junior Red Cross (JRC) is available for implementing charitable and awareness programs in schools and in colleges Youth Red Cross (YRC) for encouraging them to social service activities.A team of trained volunteers are available to extend help to victims of disaster and natural calamities. Various health awareness activities are conducted along side.