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Donors’ day out boosts lifeline

Compassion and sense of duty is in Jamshedpur’s blood.

The steel city, with a heart of gold, turned up in unreserved numbers on Thursday to make a blood donation camp at Red Cross Bhavan, Sakchi, a grand success.

Organised by the East Singhbhum district unit of Indian Red Cross Society to mark World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, which marks the birth anniversary of ICRC founder and Nobel peace laureate Henry Dunant, the camp collected a record 1,119 units of blood between 8am and 5pm.

The queue of eager donors comprised senior school and college students, office-goers, executives and businessmen among others. At least 20 per cent of them were women, said Bijay Kumar, the secretary of Indian Red Cross Society’s local chapter.

“We have never had such huge collection on a single day. Statistics available with blood banks also suggest that it was a record in the country,” Kumar said, adding that Thursday’s 20-bed camp was organised in association with Jamshedpur Blood Bank.

Last year, the Red Cross camp in the city had collected 1,009 units. All other previous camps had never touched the commendable thousand mark.

According to WHO, a country needs a minimum stock of blood equal to one per cent of its population. So, India needs over 12 million units, but only nine million are collected annually. But this is an official estimate and doctors believe the actual demand is much higher.

Summer and monsoon are seasons of blood crisis because of more road accidents and outbreak of diseases such as dengue and malaria.

The supply of blood depends on three types of donations — voluntary (unpaid), professional (paid) and replacement for used blood. The Supreme Court banned donating for money in 1999 to improve the quality of blood, which, as it is, has a very brief shelf life. Almost 60 per cent collection in the country is through voluntary donation.

Additional deputy commissioner Ganesh Kumar and senior income tax officer Swetabh Suman jointly inaugurated Thursday’s camp. Dhalbhum SDO Prem Ranjan, also the vice-chairman of the Indian Red Cross Society’s local chapter, was also present.

“It is very encouraging to see people’s sense of responsibility. Hats off to such enthusiasm,” said Shyam Kumar, another functionary. He added that the collected units would be sent to Jamshedpur Blood Bank for storage and distribution as needed.

Among the donors was 40-year-old Debashish Mukherjee who claimed to have scored half a century. “I donated blood for the 50th time today. It gives me satisfaction and has become like a hobby,” said the employee of an Adityapur firm who was accompanied by his parents at the camp.

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