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Hindus to observe 9/11 anniversary with national blood drive

July 15
23:15 2011

NEW YORK: Hindu Americans across North America will mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by donating blood. This will be first time ever that such an ambitious project will be held at the many Hindu temples in North America.

This effort is being coordinated by the HMEC (Hindu Mandirs Executive Conference), an apex body of approximately 600 temples in North America, and agencies such as the American Red Cross will collect the blood.

With a goal of participation by at least 100 temples and collecting 5,000 units of blood on a single day, the HMEC and leaders of the Indian American community have appealed to the temples to come forward and join this movement.

Hindus form the majority of approximately 3 million Indian Americans in the US.

According to the US National Institutes of Health, nearly 14 million units of whole blood and red cells are required every year. Some patients of Asian descent require a closer blood match than that provided by the ABO positive/negative blood typing. For this reason, it is extremely important to increase the number of available blood donors from the Asian communities. At least 5% of the total eligible population in the US gives blood. However, less than 1% of the Asian community donates blood.

Rahul M. Jindal, a Transplant Surgeon, Walter Reed AMC and Clinical Professor, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, is the national coordinator for the event. He urged Indian Americans and Hindus in particular to donate blood on 9/11 or around that time.

Sudershan Pasupuleti, Associate Professor & Hartford Geriatric Faculty Scholar, The University of Toledo, and national coordinator for Hindu Seva (Service) Day, said that no one knows whose life may be saved with a blood donation as it could be yours, a friend’s, relative’s or neighbor’s.

Abhaya Asthana, Bell Labs Fellow at Alcatel-Lucent Technologies said that donating blood is sharing the gift of life.

Mahesh Mangalick of Alpha Business, Management Solutions Corporation, Phillipsburg, NJ, pointed out that this is a very noble project organized by the HMEC, an initiative of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, America.

Luz Rodriguez, Assistant Director of Student Activities, Baruch College, CUNY, New York, urged students to participate in large numbers on this day of remembrance.

Rita Dave, Special Counsel, Workforce and Economic Development, New York Senate, said that this was an ambitious project and should be supported by all Indian Americans.

George Subraj, President, Zara Realty, New York, said that irrespective of religious or national affiliations, Americans should donate blood, in particular on 9/11.
Sanjay Puri, Chairman of the US-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) lauded the focused appeal and encouraged the Indian American community to participate in this effort.

Dinesh G. Patel, Chief of Arthroscopic Surgery, Harvard, Boston, said, “Our Karma (action) is to follow our Dharma (duty), and that is to perform our prescribed duty without anticipating any fruits. What better cause to do than donate our blood where our spirit of giving is flowing and do without thinking about race, religion, gender or age.
The organizers need to be complimented on their passion so let us all participate in Raktadan (blood donation).”

Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC) is an annual initiative seeking development of network between the executives of all Hindu temples of America. HMEC is dedicated to the sustenance of Hindu Dharma (religion) in North America.

India Post News Service

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