Under the theme "Love Shanghai, the Life Gift from India," the fourth annual Indian blood drive has attracted more than a hundred Indian nationals in the city to donate blood at the Shanghai Blood Center.
Prakash Gupta, Consul General of India in Shanghai, said in his opening remarks at the kick-off event that blood donated by Indians would go a long way in cementing ties between India and China beyond brotherhood. Following his opening remarks, a number of Indian adults and children danced and sang about the joy of giving blood.
The blood donation activity started at 8:30 am on September 11 and lasted for three and a half hours. For safety reasons, each participant filled in a registration form about their health and lifestyle and also underwent a physical examination before being allowed to donate.
"The main purpose is to make sure the friendship of India and China comes together, and that the affection of Indian people is known to Shanghai people through this act," Consul General Gupta told the Global Times. "This is an event that has been going over for the last three years, and this is the fourth time that we are doing it."
Indian nationals in Shanghai donate blood at the Shanghai Blood Center. Photos: Wang Han/GT
Giving back to society
Gupta added that he thinks this is a unique act of friendship, with Indian nationals having already contributed 382 bags of blood over the years.
The donated blood goes to the Shanghai Blood Bank. In times of medical emergency, the blood will be given to anyone in need provided that their blood type matches.
Cao Peihua, an employee at the Shanghai Blood Center, told the Global Times that participants could donate 200 milliliters or 400 milliliters of blood. "There is no national or racial boundary in blood," Cao added.
Official statistics show that a total of 264 Indian nationals donated 382 bags of blood in previous three years; at this year's event, 103 Indian nationals donated 146 bags of blood.
Raj Kumar Khosa, president of Indian Association in Shanghai and chief executive officer of Axis Bank Limited Shanghai Branch, is one of the organizers of the event. He said that this is the fourth time he has donated blood in Shanghai.
"Since we are living in China for so many years, my Indian friends and I thought we can contribute something back to the society. And we think blood is a noble gift, so we decided to organize this annual blood donation event," Khosa said.
Prakash Gupta (right), Consul General of India in Shanghai, and Raj Kumar Khosa, president of Indian Association in Shanghai, at the blood drive
A tradition of blood
Indian male Ankur Sancheti said that this is the second time he joined this blood donation activity, which he found out about from one of his Indian friends.
"I donated blood regularly in India and I think blood donation is a very meaningful move. I hope my blood can save someone's life in Shanghai," Sancheti said.
Nishant Mehta, a sales and marketing professional, came to Shanghai two years ago. He said this is the second time he donated blood in Shanghai.
"I am a member of the Indian Association in Shanghai, and I got to know this event through the association," he said. "I have been donating my blood regularly for almost 16 years, since college, and there is also a tradition of blood donation in my family."
Mehta brought his daughter to watch the blood donation activity. "She didn't feel scared today. When she grows bigger, she shouldn't be scared of participating," he added.
This annual blood donation activity is organized by Indian Association in Shanghai, along with Shanghai Red Cross Blood Center, Hongkou District Blood Management Office, Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, and Shanghai Foreign Agency Service Department.
An Indian national donates her blood at the Shanghai Blood Center.
Indian expat donates blood.