Anna Hazare's campaign against corruption and the movement in support of Jan Lokpal bill has stuck the chord of the youth of our country. From Ram Lila Maidan in Delhi to the nook and corner of the country, people have come forward to express solidarity and support for the campaign. Karnataka has been a very active centre for the movement with the likes of Justice Santos Hegde and Captain Gopinath taking a lead. While Anna Hazare and team fasted at Delhi, Freedom Park (the former Central Jail) had become the hub of all activities in Bangalore and thousands were seen coming to the park daily. People were shouting slogans, holding placards, organising marches, singing songs and finding a variety of other modes of expression to let those in power know their feelings. In such times Sankalp received repeated requests from numerous protestors to facilitate a blood donation drive so that the willing individuals get an opportunity to make a strong statement, to show their commitment to the cause, in a very constructive manner.
Sankalp India Foundation organised 2 days of blood donation drives at Freedom Park on 24-25 August 2011. A total of 116 units of blood were collected in these two days and more than 130 willing donors came forward to donate blood.
In parallel, a group of students from M.S.R.I.T. came forward to organise a week long program to collect blood in support of Jan Lokpal every evening from 4:30-6:30 PM. A total of 31 donors came forward to donate blood at M.S.Ramaiah Blood Bank for the same. The list of all the people who donated blood is being sent to the Prime Minister's Office to communicate the sentiment of the people.
Organising these blood donation drives was a challenge of a different sort. The blood donation drives would take place in enclosed space. When B.B.M.P. did not wish to permit us to use the large rooms they have in Freedom Park, things looked grim. But a little far from the venue we found Terapanth Bhawan. The same organisation had organised drives with us in the past. A few calls later we had the venue. While a group of volunteers took charge to bring the willing donors from Freedom Park to the venue, those at the camp area executed the drive with the usual dexterity and quality.
Voluntary blood donation - one of the most sustained voluntary movements of our times did have a meaningful role to play in the most powerful campaign that we have seen. Sankalp thanks all the organisers of the events at Freedom Park for enabling these methods of constructive protest, the blood banks for coming forward to collect blood in unusually uncertain circumstances and short notice, the numerous people who helped to get the message though and most importantly, the 147 donors who came and donated blood.
Sankalp is proud to have played a small but meaningful role in the campaign that promises to shape our nation.