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Indian Red Cross celebrates World Blood Donors Day

The Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS), National head quarters (NHQ) celebrated world blood donor day on 14 June, 2006. The event was supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), India delegation. The occasion was marked by a host of activities at the NHQ.

The day began with a poster painting activity in which 21 thalassemic children in the age group of 10-17 years participated.  The topic for the poster painting activity was “donate blood & save life”.

A blood donation camp was organised at the IRCS NHQ blood bank. Another camp was held in Rohini in partnership with Sant Nirankari mandal (a non government organisation). Eight staff members from IFRC India delegation donated blood at the NHQ blood bank. Special gifts and refreshments were given to all the donors in both camps. A seminar on “Improving blood bank services in India” was held at the disaster management centre at the IRCS NHQ.

Welcoming the guests Dr. S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General, IRCS highlighted the need for voluntary blood donation in India and mentioned that the Indian Red Cross is working on a strategy to provide safe blood to patients in need. The guest list included Dr. Karan Singh, Sant Nirankari mandal (NGO), Dr. Moti Lal Dash, Programme Co-odinator (NSS) BITS, Pilani, (Professional educational institute), Mrs. Sobha Tuli, Secretary, Thalassemia India, Dr. Veena Doda, Ram Manohar Lohia hospital and Dr. Dinesh Negi, Officer on Special Duty (administration), Muncipal Corporation of Delhi, IFRC and Spanish Red Cross.

Ms. Anubha, a thalessemic patient and a practising lawyer shared her views during the seminar. She praised the IRCS by saying that the society is like a nurturing mother to her as she has been a regular blood recipient from the society's blood bank since her childhood. Mr. Rageshwar Kukreja, an employee of the Reserve bank of India (RBI) is a regular donor with the Indian Red Cross. He has donated blood 36 times. Mr. Kukreja is a physically challenged person but this has not dampened his spirit of regularly donating blood.  He said, “I survived because somebody else voluntarily donated blood so I thought I can also save a few lives and since then I became a regular donor.”

The chief guest for the occasion was Dr. Salim J. Habayab, South Asia Representative, world health organisation (WHO).  He gave away certificates and prizes to prominent donors. Noteworthy among the donors was Mr. Gabru-uddin from Sonepat district of Haryana state who had voluntarily donated blood more than 170 times.

Rajeev Sadana, Health Manager, India Delegation, IFRC congratulated the staff members of the Indian Red Cross blood bank for the efficient management of the event and assured that the Federation will continue to support such initiatives which are aimed to reduce the suffering of human beings.

In her concluding remarks Dr. T.S Jayalakshmi, Health Advisor, IRCS thanked all the partner agencies for the supporting the event. Adding further she said that Indian Red Cross Society is committed towards serving the vulnerable people of India and the IRCS is taking initiatives to provide world class blood facilities throughout India.

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