Chennai

Cycling and running groups in Chennai are leading a blood donation camp on August 1

A few donors after a blood donation drive at Adyar Cancer Institute. Photo: Special Arrangement  

On August 1, cyclists and runners would descend in droves on the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children in Egmore and the Chrompet General Hospital, for a blood donation camp organised by Aalam.

A social initiative of We Are Chennai Cycling Group (WCCG), Aalam has mobilised 11 fitness groups from Chennai for the camp specifically meant to benefit children with thalassemia, a blood disorder that requires blood transfusions.

The camp is being attended by members of 12 neighbourhood chapters of WCCG and running groups like Marina Dreamers, Madras Mustangs, Pillar Pacers, Porur Racers, Chromepet Cheetahs, Tambaram Thunderbolts, Anna Nagar Dreamers, Vibrant Velachery, Mogappair Fitness Circle and Bandit Runners.

“Aalam has been conducting blood donation drives since 2016 and it is usually done twice a year but what makes this one special is that we roped in enthusiasts from other groups,” says Lokesh Asokan, organising member of Aalam.

“On an average, our drives help us collect 80 to 120 pints of blood.”

In the past, they have organised events at hospitals and even at a Montessori school, drawing the general public to these camps.

The restrictions in place due to the pandemic has reduced the scope of these events in attracting donors.

“Due to the vaccination drive, many hospitals are finding it a challenge to find donors, and that is why we thought of roping in our friends from other running groups,” says Lokesh.

Around 70 people have signed up for the drive and the plan is to reach 100, he says.

“By associating with other groups, we have been able to spread the word and also get new people to sign up for the cause,” says Lokesh.

Srivatsa Vema of Platelet Club, an online platform facilitating contact with donors, points out that the given the blood shortage at government hospitals, more communities should step forward to save lives. “Recently, at a government hospital, a child with AB positive group had to wait for two weeks to find a matching blood group. The surgery was slated for July 14 but the family could only manage one donor before the day,” says Vema.

Most doctors keep three to four pints of blood as buffer before a surgery. “But when it comes to babies they always look for fresh blood, and some doctors would not use blood that is more than four days old, so it important that awareness is created and more people come forward to donate blood, especially at government hospitals where the need is greater,” he says.

The camp is on from 9 a.m. till noon.

Those who would like to be a part of the drive can contact Lokesh at 97899 82110/ Prasanna at 73585 23418.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:31:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/cycling-and-running-groups-in-chennai-are-leading-a-blood-donation-camp-on-august-1/article35645975.ece

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