ICRC turns 150, is 30 years old in India
New Delhi: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) turns 150 Sunday but its first mission to India took place in 1917 and it formally set up presence here only in 1982.
The ICRC had to wait until June 1995 to sign a MoU with the India government to gain access to people arrested and detained in Jammu and Kashmir. However, ICRC's first mission to India was on February 12, 1917, in connection with restoring contact between people separated by World War I.
It was in January 1917 that ICRC delegates in Cairo got a cable from Geneva, their headquarters, to inspect camps of prisoners of war (POWs) as well as civilian prisoners in India and Burma (now Myanmar). According to ICRC, the delegates sailed through the Suez Canal to reach Bombay (now Mumbai) the next month.
Their arrival marked the start of ICRC's journey on Indian soil, the ICRC said. The delegates met Viscount Chelmsford, the Viceroy of India, in Delhi.