Varsity wants all its affiliated colleges to start blood donation drives to remove misconceptions and make up for the shortfall in blood banks.
Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) is looking to draw blood. And not one to waste time, it has shot off circulars to all its affiliated colleges to start blood donation programmes on the campus once engineering classes start in a month’s time. While donating blood will not be a compulsion, students will be motivated to do so.
Every year, Karnataka requires 6 lakh bottles of blood. Though blood donation programmes are common, many young people hesitate to come forward. As a result, voluntary blood associations have to organise special drives to make up the shortfall.
“If at least half of the four lakh students can give blood, then there will be no shortage of blood. Moreover, we would have sufficient blood even for rare blood groups,” said VTU vice-chancellor H Maheshappa.
Another reason is to clear the misconceptions about donating blood. “I recently heard a student refusing to give blood. When I asked him for the reason, he said he couldn’t give blood because he himself didn’t have blood. Another student told me that he was scared of giving blood because he was told that he could get infected with HIV. Even to this day, many students don’t know enough about the subject and are also very superstitious. So, we hit upon the idea of motivating students to give blood,” Maheshappa said.
As a first step, it has been made mandatory for every student to give his/her blood group at the time of joining college. The varsity has asked every college to remit Rs 1,500 to the Indian Red Cross Society and become its member. VTU has also asked colleges to collect Rs 50 from every student. “Seventy per cent of the amount should be retained by the college and used for activities of its Red Cross unit. The remaining 30 per cent should be remitted to the Indian Red Cross Society,” the circular reads.
L Harsha, secretary, Karnataka Vidyarthi Koota, a self-help group motivating youngsters to donate blood, said when the varsity officials visited their campus during a recent blood donation camp, they were overwhelmed by the response. “I think every varsity in the country should go for a blood donation drive,” he said.
Elaborating on the advantages of blood donation, Harsha said: “When blood is drawn, there is a decrease in blood cells. To replenish it, new cells are produced. Therefore, donating blood helps in the generation of new blood cells. Moreover, blood donation helps keep one fit. Donating one pint of blood (450 ml) burns 650 calories.”