It was a very touching moment when Aditi (14), a girl child with Thalassemia felicitated Razia (20) by presenting her a red rose as a token of love, affection and respect, immediately after the later donated blood in a camp specially organized in support of children with Thalassemia at the Ridge in Shimla on 14 January, 2009. Defying severe cold wave in the state capital of Himachal Pradesh, a large number of people, including young girls and women, gathered at the Ridge to support the cause and to celebrate Makar Sankranti. As many as 90 people donated blood in the voluntary blood donation camp. The camp was organized by Umang Foundation for Children with Thalassemia, in association with the Himachal Pradesh Chapter of Society for Disability and Rehabilitation Studies (SDRS).
Thalassemic children giving flowers to the blood donors
Ganesh Dutt, Chairman of Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Authority (HIMUDA) inaugurated the camp with an appeal that people should come forward for the service of humanity as per the high traditions of Hindu Society. He congratulated the organizers of the camp for motivating people, especially the youth, towards this noble cause.
It was the second camp of its kind in this hill state. Not only Aditi, Arjun, Sahil, Pranjal and many other children with Thalassemia were present in the camp along with their parents to express their sincere thanks and gratitude to the blood donors.
Founder of Umang Foundation and Chairman of SDRS, Ajai Srivastava donated blood for the 74th time. He told that there were three objectives of this voluntary blood donation camp. First, it was to address the acute shortage of blood in the blood banks of Shimla during present severe cold conditions, second, to make focus on the problems of children with Thalassemia and last but not the least, to celebrate daan parv Makar Sankranti with the people of Shimla and tourists by donating blood. He said it was necessary for Hindus to redefine their festivals as per the needs and circumstances prevailed in the society. Interestingly many Muslims, including girls like Razia and Salma, also donated blood in the camp. Salma, student in a local college, said, “There is nothing like voluntary blood donation camp. When you donate blood for an unknown person, the artificial barriers of caste, creed, religion and language are automatically demolished.” She said it was the happiest moment of her life when she was donating blood.
Dalel Thakur, General Secretary of SDRS donated blood for the 29th time. Many journalists like Dhananjay Sharma, Him Kiran Manta and Krishna also donated blood. Regular blood donors and office bearers of SDRS and Umang Foundation, Yashwant Rai, Bharti Kuthiala and Sanjeev Sunta very successfully motivated many particularly the first timers, for the blood donation. Dr. Sandeep Malhotra, Blood Bank Officer at Indira Gandhi Medical College Blood Bank, was happy to see a good turnout at the camp and congratulated the organizes for the success of the camp.
It is pertinent to mention that with in few months of coming in to existence, Umang Foundation for Children with Thalassemia in the guidance of Ajai Srivastava, has done an exemplary work to bring the children with Thalassemia in the agenda of the society and the government in Himachal Pradesh.