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Indian expats donate blood to commemorate Republic Day

Posted on January 25, 2012
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RIYADH: Indian expatriates came in their hundreds to donate blood on Friday in Riyadh to commemorate their country’s Republic Day, which falls on Jan. 26.

Even though India received its independence on Aug. 15, 1947, the constitution of India came into effect only on Jan. 26, 1950.

The program was organized by members of Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath (TNTJ), a social organization from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, at the King Fahd Medical City (KFMC) located in the heart of the capital.

“We collected around 111 liters of blood from the volunteers who came to donate their blood as a mark of respect to their motherland, which made them what they are today,” TNTJ President Faisal Mohamed, an engineer working in a private company, told Arab News on Saturday.

As well as Indian expatriates and their wives from Tamil Nadu, voluntary blood donors also included Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Bangladeshis and Egyptians. Mohamed also thanked non-Indians who took part in this campaign.

A standard health screening procedure was done prior to the extraction of blood. Each donor underwent tests for blood pressure, sugar and hemoglobin count before the donation. The clinical checks also included screening for communicable diseases.

This year, Mohamed said that his organization decided to celebrate the country’s Republic Day in a more meaningful manner and express their patriotism in a way that could help others and save human lives.

“Therefore, we celebrated our country’s 63rd Republic Day in a unique style by organizing a massive blood donation camp in Riyadh. We carried out this program as a mark of respect to those national heroes who took part in India’s freedom struggle,” said Mohamed.

Besides the community members, he said each TNTJ member visited KFMC and donated 450 ml of blood. The entire procedure from the general health check to blood donation took less than 30 minutes.

KFMC blood bank chief Dr. Fathou Al-Alem and Abdul Majeed, blood bank coordinator, lauded the group for its voluntary service. “Such camps will create awareness among people, both Saudis as well as expatriates living in the Kingdom,” Al-Alem said.

KFMC has seven hospitals that include separate departments for cardiology, maternity, pediatrics and emergency. KFMC is one of the major facilities of the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom.

“We received an overwhelming response from our community members as well as from others,” TNTJ Blood Donation Coordinator Mohamed Maheen noted, adding that Muslims are guided by a Qur’anic teaching that says: “Whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved the life of entire mankind!” (Al-Qur’an 5:32)

TNTJ is composed of a group of Tamil-speaking youths whose aim is to serve the people. In the past, blood donated in Riyadh was sent to Makkah and Madinah for Haj pilgrims. The group has also collected blood in July last year for Umrah Pilgrims.

Donating blood is a fast and simple procedure. Blood donors can donate up to 450 ml of blood (one unit) every two and half to three months; this amount is small, given that the body contains five to six liters (10 to 12 units) of blood. The full blood donation procedure takes no longer than 20 to 30 minutes.

“What is half an hour compared to a lifetime of help to others who are in need of it,” Maheen said.

The different blood types include O positive and negative, A positive and negative, B positive and negative and AB positive and negative. Distribution may be different for specific racial and ethnic groups, but in an emergency, anyone can receive type O Negative red blood cells. Therefore people with type O blood are known as “universal donors,” and those with type AB blood are known as “universal recipients.”

Meanwhile, the two Indian missions in the Kingdom will celebrate their Republic Day on Thursday morning in their respective stations in Riyadh and Jeddah. Members of the Indian community have been invited to attend this event.

On Wednesday Indian Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao and his wife Asiya will host a reception for members of the diplomatic corps and senior government officials at Tuiwaiq Palace in the Diplomatic Quarter in the capital.

In Jeddah, Indian Consul General Faiz Ahmed Kidwai will hoist his country’s national flag to mark the Republic Day on Thursday at the consulate premises. In the evening the consul general and his wife Fouzia will host a reception for members of the diplomatic corps and local dignitaries at the Sheraton Hotel in Jeddah.

Md. Rasooldeen

24 Jan 2012

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article567232.ece

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