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Anandpur Sahib's Record Blood Donor Camp

by KHUSHWANT SINGH

 

Hola Mohalla, the great annual Sikh spring festival, is all set to put a further imprint on the annals of history this year, as various community organisations, under the aegis of the Akal Takht in Amritsar and SGPC, are organizing the world's largest-ever blood donation camp, to be held on Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at Anandpur Sahib.

The camp is planned to clock more than 25,000 donations in a single day, making a new record for the Guinness Book.

The mega camp will be held in a giant pavilion with 700 beds, with 14 blocks with 50 beds each. There will be 2500 donations taken each hour, averaging 15 minutes per donor.

To ensure the smooth working of the blood donation camp, 5000 volunteers - including 3000 paramedical staff - have been deployed. A team of 100 doctors has been deployed at different investigation counters. More than 110 blood banks from all over the country are coming to collect blood from this camp.

Special arrangements have been made to airlift the donated blood to different parts of the country, on the same day.

To make this huge event a success, organizers have arranged for accommodation of 20,000 donors with the rest of the donors expected from nearby areas surrounding Anandpur Sahib. A big set-up has been created for refreshments for the donors; fruit and juice will be served by the "Kar-seva-valle Baabey".

Donors are coming from all across the country to become part of this social movement, besides attending the Hola Mohalla celebrations at this greatest of Sikh historical sites, where the Khalsa were first initiated on Vaisakhi Day 1699.

A special train with 1500 donors, for example, is coming from Nagpur, besides thousands of donors coming by special buses from different corners of the country.

The camp will be inaugurated with a traditional Ardaas - congregational invocation - led by Giani Gurbachan Singh (Jathedar, Akal Takht) at 6.45 am in the presence of Giani Tarlochan Singh (Jathedar, Takht Kesgarh Sahib) and Giani Jaswinder Singh (Head Granthi, Darbar Sahib, Amritsar).

To facilitate the donors, a reception with 150 counters to fill out donation forms has also been set up at a base camp at Guru Tegh Bahadar Khalsa College, Anandpur Sahib.

 

March 9, 2009

Conversation about this article

1: Tejwant (U.S.A.), March 09, 2009, 7:59 PM.

Although it is a gallant effort, why bring all the 25000 donors to one place? Just to be in the Guinness Book of World Records, as the news states? How much is all this effort going to cost and who would be paying for it? Can this money be used helping the needy or create some cottage industries in the rural areas? As the saying goes, "If you give a fish to a man, he will eat for a day but if you teach him how to fish, he will have food for the rest of his life". One should find out how many times have the head honchos donated their blood in their lives before? I hope once a month, as many of us do. In my opinion, this is nothing but a propaganda based on me-ism rather than One-ism. If the S.G.P.C. had spear-headed this event with the Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jain and all other religious organisations, along with the NGO's, to have the same event all around the country during Hola Mohalla, the blood donation would be in millions and would benefit many more and also would be cost effective. But may be The Guinness Book of World Records would not accept that as one event, which seems to be the main objective and a self-pat on the back.

2: Harinder (Bangalore, India), March 09, 2009, 11:26 PM.

This is really inspiring. That is why I love to be a Sikh. Chardi Kalaa to the Quom!

3: Gurmeet Kaur (Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.), March 10, 2009, 6:02 AM.

At first glance I was elated; rarely something meaningful, of service to humanity, that brings glory to the Panth, comes out of the S.G.P.C. But as I read further, my thoughts resonated with what Tejwant Singh said. "Complete environmental disrepect" shown for bringing people from across the country just for donating blood. Even if they wanted a record turnout, consider this. The population of Anandpur Sahib and surrounding towns (district Rupnagar alone) is well over a million people. Couldn't they motivate 25,000 in the district to donate blood locally? But I re-read the article and concluded that visitors are coming for Hola Mohalla festival anyways and the camp is just an addition to the festivities. All in all, not a bad start if it is so. Let's give S.G.P.C. some credit for giving their dirty politics a break and doing something constructive. I would have to add that the report is a bit tricky.

4: I. Singh (Chelmsford, MA, U.S.A.), March 10, 2009, 10:51 AM.

The environment and me-ism concerns are valid. But let's put them aside for the moment. This is a significant development in the affairs of the Sikhs back in the homeland - Panjab as well as for the diaspora. One must first read the "sandesh" from the Akal Takht which, among other things, mentions the following (translation is mine and mistakes thus are mine as well): "So, to all Guru Nanak's Sikhs: let this be an advisory from the Majestic Timeless Throne (Sri Akal Takht), that for the betterment of humanity in addition to all the other acts of service that you are involved in, also make part of your life the act of blood donation, organ donation and eye donation. Every Sikh should necessarily donate blood at least once every year in memory of our glorious martyrs ..." In this year, the 25th anniversary of the '84 ghalughara, what could be a better tribute to all those who shed their blood, than to create a culture of giving blood? Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. Sometimes, something good does come from our center of political sovereignty.

5: Nimritjit Singh (Toronto, Canada), March 11, 2009, 10:29 AM.

Great effort and something good to unite youth on a common platform and help make them better citizens. But do we know the reason behind this and how it started? The whole reason is that someone came across Dera Sacha Sauda's record in the Guinness Book and they decided to break it and remove his name. All I am trying to say is that it started as something to surpass someone else, but not as a seva to humankind. I came to know about this three months ago when I was in Punjab and various organizations were thinking of doing this to surpass the dera's record. Again, a great way to portray our great religion, but we can always do something novel and genuine instead of getting into competition.

6: Manjeet Singh (Fresno, California, U.S.A.), July 15, 2010, 5:10 AM.

Waheguru Ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji ki fateh!

7: Harjeet Singh (Ludhiana, Punjab), August 14, 2012, 10:40 PM.

Waheguru, tera shukar hai.

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