Rashmi Ranjan

Blood cannot be manufactured nor replaced with something else. Donating blood is a selfless act and a humanitarian gesture that saves precious lives during urgency. 

While the world is celebrating World Blood Donor Day to raise global awareness on the need for safe blood and blood products and to express gratitude for blood donors for their voluntary life-saving gift, let's meet some real heroes of Odisha who are the reason behind someone’s existence.

Meet Parag Agarwal from Sambalpur. Agarwal first donated blood in 1997 for his sister’s surgery and since then he never looked back. So far, he has donated 72 units of blood.

“I was very nervous when I donated blood for the first time during my sister’s surgery. But once I donated the blood, I felt very content. Since then I have been donating blood three to four times a year and have clocked 72 units so far,” Agarwal said.

Similarly, Lieutenant Colonel Asit Mohapatra from Bhubaneswar has A-ve blood group, which is considered as the rarest. Since retirement from service in 2008, Mohapatra is donating blood at frequent intervals and has helped save many precious lives. So far, he has donated 56 units of blood.

“I came to Bhubaneswar in 2008. After I started getting requests to donate blood frequently, I realised how rare is A-ve blood group. I immediately come and donate blood when a person is in urgent need of blood. I consider this act as social responsibility,” Lieutenant Colonel Mohapatra said.

Recently, the Bahanaga triple train crash, which claimed 289 lives and left over a thousand injured was an eye-opener. While hundreds of units of blood were required for the treatment of the accident victims, people from all walks of life came forward and donated blood voluntarily. A total of 7100 units of blood including nearly 2000 units alone from Balasore was collected. The Balasore district administration has awarded the Good Samaritans for their noble act on World Blood Donor Day today.

“I am really proud to contribute during such a national disaster. I did my part by donating blood,” said Bansidhar Dalai, a donor.
Praising the noble act, Balasore Collector Dattatraya Bhausaheb Shinde said, “The residents of Balasore have set an example by donating nearly 2000 units of blood for the accident victims. Their noble act is being praised in all quarters,” 

Around 4.5 lakh units of blood are needed for treatment in Odisha. While around 80 percent of the required blood is collected through blood donation camps, for the rest 20 percent, the hospitals depend on patients’ relatives.

“Odisha has 4.5 crore population. So, we need 4.5 lakh units of blood annually. We urge everyone to donate blood voluntarily so that we can provide blood at the time of urgency,” said Dr. Nilakantha Mishra, Director of Blood Safety.

“Helping a patient by donating blood is the greatest satisfaction. Besides, when you donate blood, it goes through several screenings for HIV, Hepatitis, and others. You are getting these tests done for free,” said Dr. Satish Chandra Mishra, a health expert.

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