“We do not need to organise caste abolition conferences or meetings to foster communal harmony if we were able to organise blood donation camps as a movement as there lies both a symbolic and functional gesture to bring in social amity,” said Collector U. Sagayam.

Delivering the special address at the 41st Blood Donors' Day organised by Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) Blood Bank and Madurai Medical College (MMC) Blood Donors' Club at the medical college auditorium on Monday, he said that Annadhanam (serving free food), highly seen as an epitome of munificence, was not needed as the State had been providing free rice under its welfare scheme. Hence donation of blood was the need of the hour and it stood above all gestures as it saved lives. “Real humanity lies in blood donation as we do not know the background of the beneficiary.”

Speaking earlier, Medical Superintendent V.Ramanujam said, “There was a time during the late 70s and 80s when people had apprehensions about blood donation; but things have changed for the better and we have come a long way.”

A. Pragatheeshwaran, Resident Medical Officer, GRH, recalled the concerted efforts of the Collector to upgrade and improve the facilities at the hospital. Edwin Joe, Dean, MMC, said that MMC Blood Donors Club had a great tradition and called for making it a model club in future.

Prabha Samiraj, Medical Officer, GRH Blood Bank, said that 258 blood donation camp organisers would be felicitated on the occasion. She also said that on an average the GRH Blood Bank despatched 50 to 60 units of blood everyday.

D. Soundararajan, staff advisor, Blood Donors Club, reminded the contributions made by former Dean S.A. Kabir who was instrumental in founding the club. He also talked about the difficulties they had during those times in transportation of blood without proper refrigeration facilities.

P. Sankara Thiagarajan, pre final-year student and secretary, Blood Donors Club, read the annual report. He mentioned that 152 blood donation camps were organised and 14,282 units of blood donated during the camps.

A mini-marathon was organised to mark the occasion. The Collector honoured the top five winners in the men's and women's categories.

More In: Madurai