Blood Donation – An Appreciable Activity
Yesterday, August 19, it was a pleasure for me to join a blood donation camp at Dhan Dhan Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurdwara at Talhan organized by Youth Blood Donors Organisation and Welfare Society, an NGO. It was a unique experience. By the time I reached the venue, the blood donation exercise was already on. I was called upon to declare the camp open formally by standing with the blood donors and giving them certificates for donating blood. It was an honour to associate myself with this humanitarian and noble activity. The young volunteers of the NGO were busy in handling a well organized show. A dedicated and fully involved team of doctors and Para-medical staff of Johal Multispecialty Hospital were at work. A stream of volunteer donors emanating from the spiritual visitors to the Gurdwara was lining up themselves for donating blood. I was impressed by the sense of awareness among the youth for a good cause. There was nomonetary compensation except a glass of milk or juice with two bananas to the donors. The event was sponsored by Trilok Singh Sraan, a social activist of the area. It was all the more gratifying to note that prominent people of the area like Former Chairman of the Punjab SC Commission, Rajesh Bagha, Chief Editor of evening daily of Jalandhar Metro Encounter, Rakesh Shantidoot and a social activist, Jiwan Singh were there to encourage the organizers. A young couple from a nearby village Puranpur, Sarpanch Harbans Kaur and her husband Chiranji Lal donated blood to support the activity. The entire exercise was pleasant and smooth.
India is a developing country. Health services are not fully geared to cope with the needs. Voluntary efforts are much needed. According to Red Cross only 28% people in India qualify to donate blood and out of which only 10% come forward to donate. Going by experience yesterday at the camp, I tend to say that, of late, much needed awareness in this regard is emerging. During my brief interaction at the camp, I observed that blood donation costs nothing but saves life. The team leader of the organizers, Kulwinder Bagha was much appreciative and happy to find me with them in this noble activity and so was I as a humble volunteer.
It will not be completely out of place to mention about the Dhan Dhan Shaheed Baba Nihal Singh Gurdwara. I recall the Gurdwara remained in news for wrong reasons some years before. There was some tussle with regard to management and control. The Jat Sikhs, unfortunately, tried to control it without associating strong and enlightened dalit communities of the village and area. It led toconflict sometimes violent. Fortunately, with the intervention of saner elements and the administration, an amicable settlement was reached. As a result, Gurdwara now is a hub of not only spiritual fulfillment of thousands but also a centre of social and community activities. The finances are used judicially for the development of the village Talhan and the adjoining area. It was my first visit to Talhan. It could easily be called “Smart Village” by any standard. I was surmising that why all the Gurdwaras were not run on the lines of the Dhan Dhan Shaheed Nihal Singh Gurdwara? I leave it at that as food for thought.
Somebody has rightly said, “Tears cannot save life but blood donation can.”