According to WHO, blood donation by 1% of the population is generally taken as the minimum need to meet a nation’s basic requirements for blood; and as per data presented to Lok sabha India was short of 1.9 million units of blood. As per the data (2017-18) of the National Blood transfusion council of India, there are a total of 3023 blood banks of India and receive 78% of their blood supply from voluntary donors.
‘The COVID19 pandemic is unlike anything the world has ever witnessed before.’ writes R.K Jain, the General Secretary of Indian Red Cross. On the occasion of World Thalassemia day Honorable Dr. Harshvardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare writes, ‘Let’s raise awareness about preventive actions & treatment for Thalassemia brothers & sisters. Come, pledge to donate blood & serve mankind, especially at a time of crisis like COVID-19 when patients are in dire need!’
Rabindranath Tagore, speaking on yeoman service said, ‘I slept & dreamt that Life was Joy. I awoke & saw, Life was Service. I acted and behold, Service was Joy.’ On the lines of ‘Life is (was) Service’, RSS’s Jankalyan Samiti has been doing the yeoman service right from the first day. The volunteers of RSS’s Jankalyan Samiti, Mumbai along with providing grocery items had been doing blood donation activity. In disaster times, wherever there is a need for blood bottles, swayamsevaks have always been on the frontier.
In two of the events, to rescue the children suffering from thalassemia, On the 2nd of May and 9th of May blood donation camps were organized at Dayanand School, Malad and Charkop, Kandivali respectively. In this blood donation camps held under the auspices of Sarvodaya Blood Bank, Ghatkopar, a total of 138 units of blood were collected. It is noteworthy that children with thalassemia need a blood transfusion every 15 days and due to months-long lockdown due to the Covid-19 epidemic, blood shortage is being felt in all blood banks and considering this problem, RSS organized this blood donation camp in the two regions of Mumbai. At the special request of Sarvodaya Blood Bank, this blood donation camp was organized in a short period of time so that the young children who were waiting for blood transfusion in the blood bank do not face any problem.
RSS volunteers and citizens enthusiastically participated in this blood donation camp and fulfilled their humanitarian and national duty. To date 472 bottles of blood have been donated by RSS’s Janakalyan Samiti, Mumbai.
In another such incident, RSS’s Swayamsevak Subodh Naik from Mumbai narrates his experience after blood donation activity.
‘In fact, it was only when Corona’s lockdown began it was heard that the blood supply to the blood banks was very low. The night before, I had called my uncle. After discussing other issues, he said, “People are too scared. We need to be careful, but this is not the time to just worry and sit idle.” Immediately I decided to donate blood. I immediately phoned and tried to find some contact. I was fully assisted by Mr. Damle and Mr. Malkar of the Janakalyan Samiti, Mumbai of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The documents required to go out and the appointment time were made available to me in a very short time. Yesterday I had to go to a big hospital in Mumbai with a patient. That’s when I went there and donated blood.’