The historic Ridge of Shimla witnessed a different New Year celebration on 1st January to welcome 2010. Defying severe cold wave, a large number of people gathered there to express their solidarity with the children with Thalassemia and other patients who need blood transfusion for mere survival. They exchanged greetings with each other and particularly with the children with Thalassemia and supported the cause of Thalassemia and Voluntary Blood Donation. As many as 80 persons including two visually impaired persons Anuroop Singh and Tara Chand, donated blood. This was their unique style to welcome New Year.
Ajai Srivastava (2nd from left) explaining to Narender Baragta, Horticulture Minister, while Ajay Chahal, Technical Director of NIC, is donating blood.
The voluntary blood donation camp was organized by Umang Foundation, a public welfare trust, which is dedicated to the social cause. Narender Baragta while inaugurating the camp lauded the work of the Foundation. He said “There is no substitute of blood and every healthy person should donate blood after a gap of three months. There are a number of benefits of voluntary blood donation and the harm is nil.”
According to Ajai Srivastava, Chairman of Umang Foundation, it was the third blood donation camp of the trust in a series of four during severe cold season. There is always acute shortage of blood in the blood banks of Shimla during winters and to meet out the requirement of patients, this blood donation campaign of Umang Foundation was launched by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh with Dr. Rajiv Bindal, Health Minister, on 11th December last at the Ridge. On that day a total of 50 units of blood were collected. The second camp was organized at the famous Christ church on the Ridge of Shimla to mark the Christmas, in collaboration with YMCA and the Church in which 40 persons came forward to donate blood. Now the fourth camp is scheduled for 14th January to celebrate Makar Sankranti, the famous Hindu festival of donations.
Ajai Srivastava said, “It was a good experience for all of us as blood donors on the first day of the year defying severe cold wave expressed their solidarity with the patients. They were made aware of the different aspects of voluntary blood donation and the genetic blood disorder called Thalassemia.” Many tourists from neighboring Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh also donated blood. It is pertinent to mention that a large number of donors was from the age group of 18 to 28 years. They included girls also.
The children with Thalassemia Aditi, Arjun and Sahil etc. presented Rose to every donor to express their thanks and gratitude.
The camp was manned by many energetic and dedicated students of Himachal Pradesh University like Surender, Reshu Bhardwaj, Sheetal, Sunil, Reeta Dewan, Ranjana Chandel, Seema Parihar, Ritu Parihar, Vanita, Inder Kumar, Vandana etc. Bharti Kuthiala, Jaya Sharma and Rajni Sood, the trustees of Umang Foundation, thanked all the blood donors and the supporters of the cause.
Umang Foundation provided more than 700 units of blood to the blood banks of Shimla through various camps and emergency donors in the last calendar year. Apart from this, it did commendable work in creating public awareness about voluntary blood donation, Thalassemia and the rights of persons with disabilities.