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World blood donors day commorated in Tripura
Agartala, Jun 14 (IANS):
Published on 14 Jun. 2010 11:26 PM IST
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What started as a bid to save the life of his friend, turned into a cause for Nanigopal Ghosh, who has donated blood 71 times since then. And he isn’t the only regular donor in Tripura, which last year ranked first in voluntary blood donation.
“When I was a student at Maharaja Bir Bikram College here in 1971, one of my closest friends met with an accident and required blood. We went to the hospital, but there was no blood of his group in the hospital’s blood bank,” Ghosh told IANS.
“Inspired by a doctor, I had given my blood to save my friend. Since then I have given blood 71 times,” Ghosh said.
The teacher-turned-social activist said: “I have learnt that I can give blood twice a year and this blood can save precious lives.”
However, 59-year-old Ghosh feels sad that he won’t be able to give blood 100 times, as doctors do not favour blood donation by people who are over 65 years old.
Ghosh isn’t the only one in the state who has been doing that regularly. Voluntary blood donation in Tripura has become a movement of sorts with people from all walks of life coming forward for the good cause.
According to the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), Tripura was ranked first in the country in voluntary blood donation (VBD) last year.
According to NACO and other government statistics for 2009, only five states - Tripura (95.3 percent), Tamil Nadu (91.9 percent), West Bengal (85.1 percent), Punjab (84.9 percent) and Maharashtra (84.8 percent) - have the distinction of the total collection being above 80 percent as against a national average of 55 to 60 percent.
Former separatist leader Ananta Debbarma recently led a VBD camp.
“The blood that we have donated is very important. At present, we are unable to give anything to society, but we do have sensitivity towards needy people. That’s why we are donating blood,” said Debbarma, who surrendered to the government a few years ago after his involvement with terrorist outfits for many years.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar is leading from the front to popularise the concept of VBD. Sarkar has donated blood five times after becoming chief minister in 1998.
“I have asked all my party workers, club members, students, youth and social workers across the state to donate blood and to encourage everybody who is 18 years and above to give blood voluntarily to save the lives of the ailing,” Sarkar said while addressing a blood donation camp.
The Society of Voluntary Blood Donors (SVBD), an NGO, is leading the campaign in Tripura.
“Ten years ago, only 22 percent of the total required blood had been collected through VBD; now the percentage is over 95 percent,” said Nibir Sen, secretary of the SVBD.
The Times of India adjudged Sen, headmaster of a government-run school, as man of the year in 2007 for his active involvement in VBD. He has donated blood on 27 occasions so far.
A function is being held June 14 to further popularise the concept of VBD.
The function is being organised as part of World Blood Donor Day, declared by the WHO in 2004, to commemorate the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, a Nobel prize winner who discovered the A, B, O blood group system in 1901.
The theme for this year’s campaign is “New Blood for the World.”
The Kolkata-based Federation of Blood Donor Organisations of India (FBDOI) has been campaigning to achieve 100 percent voluntary blood donation in India by 2012.
“We have to make more effort to achieve 100 percent voluntary blood donation in India so that the safest blood is collected for transfusion and a check on blood-transmitted diseases like AIDS,” said Apurba Ghosh, secretary general of FBDOI.

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