The Youth Red Cross Unit of Queen Mary’s College has witnessed some fulfilling moments over the years. Since the demography of the college alters every year, with the third years leaving and the ‘freshers’ joining, the Youth Red Cross Unit begins its activities with an Orientation Programme where the participants are acquainted with the origin of the Red Cross Movement and its aims and objectives. Resource Persons from IRCS (Indian Red Cross Society) and experienced YRC Co-ordinators at the District and University Levels address the participants on this occasion. Two other annual programmes of the YRC unit are the First Aid Training Programme and Blood Donation Programme.
Some innovative programmes such as a Street Theatre Workshop and Storytelling for the children of the SSL (Social Service League School), Queen Mary’s College were conducted. At the end of the one-day Street-Theatre workshop, the students were equipped not only with the fundamentals of this genre of theatre, but also with the ability to stage street plays. The volunteers exhibited a remarkable ability to express themselves through art form. Storytelling, about great humanitarians like Henry Dunant (founder of the Red Cross Movement) and Florence Nightingale also provided the school children with role models for their own lives.
The Orientation Programme for Youth Red Cross Volunteers is held at two levels - collegiate and intercollegiate. The venue for the latter is the IRCS (Indian Red Cross Society) Centre on Montieth Road, Egmore. Volunteers who show exceptional commitment at the college level are selected to participate at the intercollegiate level.
As good leadership is the need of the hour, Leadership Training Programmes are organized as part of the YRC unit’s activities. Foundational to many of the YRC activities is the principle that “charity begins at home”. The volunteers are engaged from time to time in campus cleaning in order to raise awareness about the students’ initiative in the upkeep of the campus and the general principle of keeping one’s surroundings clean and green.
It is heartening to witness how the YRC activities transform young college girls into women of courage, conviction and strength. The Red Cross Movement’s commitment to fostering and nurturing the spirit of service has powerfully impacted the youth of our nation: the YRC volunteers of Queen Mary’s College are an evidence of this.