On World Disability Day (December 3), 695 people donated blood at an open donation camp in Kolkata’s Rani Rashmoni Avenue making it the largest such blood donation camp organised by disabled people. Out of the 695, nearly 500 were persons with disability who came forward to donate blood for thalassaemia patients of the state, who have been reeling under scarcity of blood due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Along with blood donation, the participants in the camp also took a pledge for organ donation and eye donation post their demise.
The camp was attended by the Left Front chairman, Biman Basu, who motivated the participants and said that persons with disabilities should stay together to achieve their rights, in addition to dispelling several misconceptions about blood donation.
Kanti Ganguly, president of the National Platform for Rights of Disabled, presided over the programme. He urged the central and state government either to follow the example of Cyprus, where prenatal tests are mandatory to check the condition of the foetus, or to make pre-marital blood test mandatory for adults.
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He also wrote to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urging her government to intervene to reduce the number of persons with disabilities born every year due to thalassaemia and haemophilia, now that the people suffering from these diseases have been categorised as person with disabilities. A copy of the list was released for the media. He added that the instances of such congenital disabilities can be reduced to a great extent through pre-marital screening of blood.
Highlighting the fact that most people with disabilities do not have the requisite certificates to avail the services, he urged the assembled people to use government programmes like ‘door-step government programme’ to get their certificate.
He also said that if the government continues to neglect the needs of the persons with disabilities, then they will be forced to begin a protest against it.
Meanwhile, the Paschimbanga Rajya Pratibandhi Sammilani (West Bengal State Disabled Committee) note in its release that the Centre and state government have both failed to implement the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act 2016.
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