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A Selfless Act That Shows We Care!

Blood donation is a noble deed that transcends borders, religions, regions, and backgrounds
05:35 AM Jun 16, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
a selfless act that shows we care
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There is no dearth of exemplary people in our society. Kindhearted, helpful, generous, caring, compassionate, able to rise to the occasion and act in an exemplary manner for the cause of humanity at large. One just prays that there are more such genuine real-life characters who bring laurels to the society and inspire many across the globe. Two instances may be quoted here to explain the point.


Guardian angels


Walking on the banks of the river running in the middle of the city is a source of joy. The kids especially enjoy it and they like to walk near the edges of the water body. On a fateful day recently a seven-year-old kid slipped into the river Jhelum in Srinagar while walking on the banks of a swollen river. As there are no lifeguards or any particular safety measures in place, there would have been no one nearby to respond to the murmurs of a little child in distress, being drifted away by the currents and not knowing swimming. However, mercifully, and instantly out of nowhere, two young boys emerged. Without a moment’s hesitation, they swung into action and rescued the drowning child. The rescuers happened to be two brothers, who became guardian angels and did a heroic job setting a praiseworthy example and showing rare alertness and swift action without losing a second.


Such precious souls are truly real assets of any society and deserve all admiration. BBC Hindi service did a commendable story chronicling the incident.


Supporting life


From jumping into a swollen river and rescuing a drowning child to saving a sinking soul by voluntarily donating blood, there are several heartwarming and reassuring instances which we come across in contemporary times. Indeed, a matter of satisfaction that despite the drift from the ideals, a good number of our folks continue to cherish the age-old ethos and exhibit sterling character at crucial hours.



They voluntarily respond to SoS calls, put out at times on electronic as well as social media platforms, even at unearthly hours by the concerned patients or their worried attendants; these symbols of hope emerge on the scene and contribute their bit bringing cheer to the gloomy and earning gratitude of the beneficiary and thereby restoring our common collective faith in humanity.

Personal experience

Recently blood test of someone I know showed HB level fallen suddenly to a low level. The doctor pressed the alarm button and prescribed 3 pints of blood transfusion to regain her health and improve her chances to be fine again.

She was admitted to a hospital in the uptown Srinagar, but the hospital did not have the stock in its blood bank matching her blood group. Sensing the urgency, the youngest in the family, present on the spot, rolled up the sleeves and desired to donate blood for the eldest in the family!

Incidentally several volunteers also approached the family for the purpose. “She is the respected one for us as well”, they said while presenting their point. Finally, three blessed souls, not having any blood relation with the patient, were found to be having the requisite blood group and fulfilling the criteria. Accordingly, they gave one pint each and, thank God, the patient opened her otherwise almost closed eyes and started responding to the entreats afresh.

Such instances give hope and reassurance. The selfless acts by total strangers touched us deeply. In the sea of humanity, the presence of such great souls is indeed a blessing. They need to be acknowledged and appreciated for their valuable services and unparalleled commitment to humanitarian causes.

20 years of giving

On June 14, 2024, the world marks the 20th anniversary of World Blood Donor Day. As per the World Health organization (WHO), this year’s theme is “20 years of celebrating giving: thank you, blood donors!”.

Blood donation is a noble deed that transcends borders, religions, regions, and backgrounds. We celebrate the selflessness of those who contribute to the life-saving mission.

It is also a moment to address challenges that we tackle to ensure universal access to safe blood transfusion and debunk the myths surrounding blood donation. By doing so we will be successful in encouraging young people and the public in general to donate regularly.

Debunking myths

There is an urgent need to address the myths surrounding blood donation in order to encourage people to donate so that people who are in need don’t feel helpless. Let’s debunk some common myths about blood donation:

‘Donating blood can make you sick’: This is a misconception. Healthy individuals who donate blood won’t become less healthy afterward. Within 48 hours, their blood volume returns to normal, and red blood cells are replenished within 4–8 weeks. Side effects like feeling tired or lightheaded are temporary and easily managed.

‘Older adults cannot give blood’: Age alone doesn’t disqualify someone from donating. If they meet other criteria, up to 65, people can contribute safely. A medical checkup precedes the process to ascertain the eligibility.

‘Taking medication prevents blood donation’: Many medications don’t affect eligibility though some come in the way. It’s essential to discuss specific medications with healthcare providers.

‘Giving blood is time-consuming’: Actually, it’s quick! Most donors spend less than 15 minutes donating a pint of blood.

‘You might contract an infection from donating blood’: The process is safe. The needle prick is the only pain, and the area heals within a day or two so let’s focus on need and not the needle!

We should remember that blood donation saves and sustains lives, and these myths shouldn’t discourage anyone from contributing to this life saving mission!

Gift of life

Blood, our life force, connects humanity across borders and cultures. Pertinent to mention that each blood donation can help up to three people in need. Imagine the collective impact! While we are saving lives, it also has certain health benefits for the donor as donating stimulates fresh cell production, which in turn benefits the donor’s health. Moreover, the preliminary health checks during donation reveal vital information which could give the donor an insight into their health status.

Unknown stars

As the media remains doing its duty, generally highlighting the shortcomings and the lapses, the brighter side of the picture remains mostly uncovered.

We don’t know much about the blood donor’s community in the valley. Some prominent figures in the community do find a mention though occasionally. More needs to be done to place on record the invaluable services of this community.

Shabir Hussain Khan, popularly known as the blood man of Kashmir, in a recent interview revealed that he has donated 186 pints of blood during the last 43 years. He is eager to touch the 200 mark!

Let’s salute the blessed ones!

On the occasion of International blood donation day, let’s salute these saviors of humanity, highlight their role and express our gratitude.

Thank you, blood donors!

(Ravhan Mirza works in the biotech industry and writes on issues related to science and society)