United in grief, Guwahati steps in to help blast injured

November 4th, 2008 - 4:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Nov 4 (IANS) United in grief and in their determination to overcome the trauma of Assam’s worst terror attack, people are queuing up outside hospitals here to donate blood and help the injured in the best way that they can. As Assam recovers from the string of 12 blasts Oct 30 - six of them here and the rest in places like Kokrajhar, Barpeta and Bongaigaon - that left 81 people dead and more than 300 injured, youngsters especially are doing all they can to express their solidarity.

“If you can’t stand up and help those who need help in times like these, then when will you ever do it?” asks Rajashree Deka, a student of Cotton College in the city.

“I was lucky to have escaped the blasts, but many others were not. In whatever way that I can, I want to help the victims. Donating blood was one of the immediate ways to do that and I did it,” she put it simply.

The Guwahati Medical College (GMC) where 134 of the injured are admitted found itself turning away more than 300 volunteers who went to donate blood as it was already well stocked.

According to Madhav Rajbonghsi, GMC deputy medical superintendent, the enthusiastic response has led to the hospital being stocked with 834 units of blood - more than its requirement.

“Right after the blasts on Thursday, there was an advertisement in the local news channels that GMC is running short of blood supply considering the amount of victims who have been brought in. Soon after, hundreds of people started pouring in, eager to donate blood and do their bit to help the needy,” Rajbongshi told IANS.

“Our requirement is 800 units of blood, but thanks to the people, we now have 834 units. We have been turning away volunteers now. Nearly 300 are still knocking our doors to donate blood.”

Rajbongshi said they had been receiving units of blood from places like Tezpur, situated nearly 200 km from Guwahati.

The volunteers include people like Rakesh Gohain, an advertising executive in the city who immediately stepped in to help when he got a forwarded message on his phone saying that there was a shortage in the blood banks.

“My heart bleeds when I see the state of the city now. But at sunset, when all the roads, the flyovers light up with candles lit by people on the road marching and condemning the blasts, I feel stronger because I know that these things can’t divide us,” he said.

Homemaker Raihana Rahman, who is still shaken by the incident, said her family was asked not to donate blood by hospital authorities since they were adequately stocked.

“However, we and many others we know have left our contact numbers with the hospital so that in need we can step in to help,” Rahman said.

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