The NUST Medical Center is the place at one of the many edges of NUST, where you go to get yourself checked if you aren’t well. So, obviously, the crowd milling around the Medical Center was a clear sign that either someone with a lot of friends had taken ill, or many people had been involved in an accident and had to be taken to the Medical Center. Fortunately, it was neither of those scenarios, but rather, all those students were there for one of the noblest causes of all, donating their blood.
As one of NCSC’s signature events, the Blood Donation Drive in collaboration with the Jamila Sultana Foundation is held every year in the Spring Semester. It provides the students of NUST, the opportunity to donate their blood to patients of thalassemia. Thalassemia is a genetic disease, and since it has no cure, its patients need regular, monthly blood transfusions for their continued survival. The Jamila Sultana Foundation provides these transfusions to the poor and the deserving completely free of cost – a worthy endeavor in itself.
The Blood Donation Drive for Spring 2017 was a three-day event, held from March 7th to March 9th. This drive too, was going to go almost the same way as the previous ones – except that it didn’t. Preparations were made for setting up a tent at the IGIS ground, but unexpected rain forced the relocation of the venue to Medical Center on the very first day. The unprecedented change of venue, from a place easily reachable and visible, like the IGIS Ground, to a place far away and very much of out of sight, had its effect. Though transportation was set up, from C1, C2, as well as the departments for anyone who wanted to donate, only 168 pints were collected over the course of the first two days.
It could have been a setback, if not for the untiring efforts of event heads, organizing committee and the NCSC council members who not only donated blood themselves, but also persuaded friends and total strangers alike, to donate their blood as well. The third and final day of the BDD, was phenomenal. The Drive continued well after 5 p.m., the usual end-point. Hostelites who hadn’t had a chance to contribute were convinced to come forward and donate. The result of these efforts was evident in the fact that the Blood Donation Drive was the most successful drive ever held by NCSC, breaking all previous records with a total number of 306 pints collected.
While 306 might not be a big number on its own, considering the jam-packed schedule of NUST students, the unexpected change of venue and location of the Medical Center, 306 is a ground-breaking achievement. Our hope is that future Blood Donation Drives will not only reach this number but surpass it as well, for what’s a little competition in the worthiest cause of all, saving lives.