By: Surekha Dhaleta
It was the first workshop in Himachal Pradesh to sensitise common people about Thalassemia and voluntary blood donation for the cause. There after 41 persons donated blood in a voluntary blood donation camp organised to support the children with Thalassemia.
A leading public sector undertaking Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam (SJVNL) in association with UMANG Foundation for Children with Thalassemia took this noble initiative at its corporate office in New Shimla on January, 28.
S C Padhy, General Manager (P & A) inaugurated the blood donation camp by donating blood for the 25th time.
Blood donation camp organised by UMANG. Ajai Srivastava too is seen in the background. (Pic: Yograj)
Ajai Srivastava, founder president of UMANG Foundation who has made a significant contribution in the field of voluntary blood donation movement in Himachal Pradesh, said the meet was held to create awareness among individuals on the issues related to thalassemia and to exhort people to donate blood for such cause Srivastava elucidated that this is an attempt to facilitate an interaction between thalassemic individuals, their parents and other persons , so that people get sensitized to these issues and have a wider perspective in understanding the problem . He further said this is a humble attempt to support the cause of ‘right to life’ of such children and further it is an initiative to revolutionize the concept of ‘blood donation movement’ in Himachal.
Srivastava also informed the congregation that Thalassemia is a condition which requires expensive medicines and constant blood transfusion. It becomes a constant worry for parents of children with Thalassemia. as most of them belong to below poverty line families He said that in order to make medicines and treatment affordable for thalassemic patients it has been suggested by Umang foundation to set up a corpus fund at the government level, wherein medicines can be provided at a subsidized rates to such patients and in this direction talks are also being held with some drug manufacturing companies.
While speaking to Himvani, the parents of children with Thalassemia present in the programme lauded the efforts of Umang Foundation, and said in unison that such awareness meets are a good strategy to disseminate information on Thalassemia among general public. Mother of a 23-year-old Thalassemic patient said that earlier in Himachal there was paucity of resources available in terms of blood bank and other medical treatments and they had to take their ward either to Chandigarh, Mumbai or other metros to avail the treatments, but now with the concerted efforts of blood banks, voluntary donors, and organizations such as Umang in Himachal it has become more easier, though Thalassemia continues to toll on them emotionally, physically and financially.