Natural calamities can rarely be predicted; in fact the only thing certain about a natural disaster is the uncertainty. Since the when and where of a natural disaster can at best be only guessed, it is in every community’s interest to be as well prepared as possible to cope with it if and when it occurs.
In the past few years Pakistan has experienced the devastation that natural disasters like earthquakes and floods bring with them. We have learnt to appreciate the value of responding to emergencies efficiently, and the consequences of not delivering rescue services in a timely manner.
Bearing this in mind, three Active Citizens from Bahawalpur organized a one day blood collection drive. They named their social action group “Umeed” – an Urdu word, which can be loosely translated to “hope”. According to the group members – Ashar, Sumera, and Arooj, instead of totally relying on foreign aid in the event of a calamity, efforts should be made to develop a culture of volunteering and self-help.
In keeping with the spirit of collectivism – the driving philosophy behind the social action project, the group was successful in persuading health care professionals including doctors and nurses to devote some of their time and be a part of the blood drive.
In their bid to spread awareness among young people, the group along with other volunteers visited campuses of various local universities and colleges where they presented their idea to the students and staff, and were able to attract a number of donors.
Although their project was a small one, and the quantity of blood collected was not huge, but thanks to the efforts of the Umeed social action group, the chances of finding blood for an urgent transfusion in Bahawalpur have got better.