The Indian Red Cross Society, with its headquarter at New Delhi and branches at state and district levels throughout the country, is not a non-governmental organisation as generally perceived. It is, in fact, a statutory body formed and managed under an Act of Parliament — the Indian Red Cross Society Act, 1920.
At present, the President of India, Pratibha Patil, is the president of IRCS and the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr A. Ramadoss is its chairman at the national level. At the Punjab level, Governor Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) is the president and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is the vice-president. At the district level, the deputy commissioner is the president of the branch.
Amongst the aims and objectives of IRCS, Punjab State Branch are: aid to the sick and wounded members of the Armed Forces, maternity and child welfare, nursing and ambulance work, organise relief for people suffering on account of epidemics, earthquake, famines, floods, etc, to provide comfort and necessary garments to hospitals and health institutions, expenses of management of society and its branches and affiliated societies and bodies and work for the improvement of health, prevention of disease and mitigation of suffering of people.