By Tendar Tsering
DHARAMSHALA, June 14: More than 150 people today donated blood to mark ‘World Blood Donor Day’ in Dharamshala. A blood donor club was also launched as part of efforts to raise awareness on the importance of donating blood.
The club was formed at the behest of Tibet Charity, a group which caters to underprivileged Tibetans living in India and Nepal.
Speaking at the launch of the club, Dr Tsering Wangchuk, Health Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration lauded this first of its kind initiative.
“This is the first time in our Tibetan community that an NGO has formed a blood donor club to mark World Blood Donor Day,” Dr Wangchuk said. “All of you who have donated blood are the real heros.”
The minister also thanked NGOs providing health services in the Tibetan exile community.
“The Health Department considers NGOs like Tibet Charity, CHOICE HIV/AIDS Initiative and Kunphen as our partners,” Dr Wangchuk said while promising support and help from his ministry.
Tsering Dhondup, the director of Tibet Charity told Phayul that they initiated the blood donor club after realising the urgent need for such a club in the Tibetan community.
“I have personally experienced how tough it is to get blood in times of crisis or in a short span of time,” Dhondup said. “Once when my mother fell sick, we had great trouble getting blood on time.”
“With the launch of the blood donor club, we hope that we can help people in their time of greatest need,” he added.
Addressing the public, Dr Tseten Sadutsang, Chief Medical Officer, acknowledged Tibet Charity’s “wonderful contribution.”
“At times doctors are unable to help patients because of paucity of blood donors. Tibet Charity is helping fill up that vacuum,” Dr Tseten said.
June 14 is celebrated as World Blood Donor Day by the World Health Organisation to raise awareness on the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors.
The theme of this year’s World Blood Donor Day campaign is “Every blood donor is a hero,” focusing on the idea that everyone can become a hero by giving blood.