Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan has suggested that instead of a ‘blood donor week’ we must have a ‘ blood donor year’ where each one who is healthy to donate blood must come forward to do so once or twice during the year. The Health Minister was speaking at the valedictory function to mark the culmination of the Blood Donor Week at the Indian Red Cross Society, here today. Dr Harsh Vardhan said that during the launch of the Blood Donor Drive at Dr RML Hospital on 14 June which is celebrated as World Blood Donor Day, he had asked the Red Cross Society, Department of AIDS control and NACO, that the blood donor activity should be carried beyond one day, which lead to the Blood Donor Week. Emphasising the importance of donating blood in view of the shortfall of about 2-3 million units per year within the country, the Health Minister said that we must all take a pledge that the shortfall of blood for the country will be addressed by 14 June next year. In a country of more than 1.2 billion of people, this should not be an insurmountable target, the Health Minister stated, given that this is converted to a social movement which involves all educational institutions, doctors belonging to various streams across the country, in addition to volunteers, blood banks and other partners agencies such as WHO. The social movement will involve, educate and motivate people throughout the country through camps and other activities in colleges, offices, hospitals etc., he said.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said: “Let us hold hundreds and thousands of meetings all across the country to educate and motivate people to donate blood. Let us start a social movement for “health for all” in the country, and for anyone to become a participant of this movement, they should start with donating blood.” He added that we must become soldiers in this movement. In his address at the function, Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the there can be no other activity more sacred or pious than donating blood which can save the lives of many. He also stated that recent research has shown that the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases in regular blood donors reduces by 80%. Moreover, some studies also show that regular donation of blood leads to reduction in obesity, he said.
Dr Harsh Vardhan felicitated several blood donors which included donors who have donated more than 100 times, such as Shri Nayan Kumar who has donated about 104 times. The Health Minister congratulated them and stated that it is people like them who motivate others to donate blood. Several other partner agencies such as LIC, Punjab National Bank, TATA Power (Delhi Distribution), Delhi Technical University, JBM Gurgaon, and IGI Airport were felicitated for organising blood donation camps and motivating people to donate blood.