The National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers of the Cotton Hill Higher Secondary School for Girls, Vazhuthacaud, were a busy lot on Thursday. Groups of them were seen in front of the school gates along the main road, waving at passing vehicles to stop and some patiently explaining to the passers-by to take a little of their time to come and donate blood at the camp being held at the school, while others inside guided each willing volunteer to the school building where the camp was progressing.

Veena, one of the NSS volunteers said, through the project they aimed at creating awareness of the importance of blood donation and driving home the point how the availability blood could be the difference between life and death.

The students had visited nearby shops and establishments the previous day urging people to take part in the blood donation campaign. “We put up posters too, inviting people to the camp. We also conducted awareness classes in the school and several students expressed interest in taking part in the camp,” said Veena.

Once parental consent was received and after confirming that the student met the weight and blood pressure measures, they too were allowed to donate blood at the camp.

She said that a project report would also be prepared after the camp.

A unit from the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) here, led by Dr. Vijayalakshmi K., began collecting blood in the morning.

Sreeja, teacher in-charge of the NSS, said close to 50 volunteers turned up in the first hour of the camp itself.

The students presented a short skit, outside the school gates as well, to invite more people to donate blood.

All morning students stood on the roadside inviting voluntary blood donors to the camp.

“Some of them said they were unwell, or they had alcohol the previous night and hence cannot help. There is little we can do to convince such people. But we managed to pursue those who admitted that they were little apprehensive about the procedure,” said one of the students.

“We had conducted similar programmes, last year and the year before, with the assistance of Sree Chitra Tirual Institute of Medical Sciences last year and RCC the year before,” said Ms. Sreeja, adding that the NSS unit was planning to conduct more camps, including an eye camp.