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Times of India
22 February 2011
Agartala, India

A group of 69 persons who have rare negative blood flowing in their veins simply put, their blood groups are negative have got together and formed a club to help others with their genetic gift.

These Good Samaritans met on Sunday to lay the foundation of a unique club that they have named West District Negative Blood Donors' Club. The idea is to donate their rare blood to bail people out in times of medical emergencies.

The initiative, many here feel, is perhaps the first of its kind in the entire country. The club was formed under aegis of Tripura State Blood Transfusion Board and Society of Voluntary Blood Donors, Tripura.

It will help save precious time in cases of medical emergency. "Since negative blood group is relatively rare on an average, only three per cent of the total population belongs to these groups such a club will help us get in touch with donors immediately whenever we require blood," said Nibir Sen of Society of Voluntary Blood Donors.

The society organizes voluntary blood donation camps and has already transformed into a social movement of sorts in Tripura with the patronage of chief minister Manik Sarkar. The CM has made it a point to attend all the blood donation camps, which are organized quite frequently.

"Tripura has secured the first position in the country for the last few years in voluntary blood donation. But, with 97 per cent of the people belonging to positive blood groups and the number of those with negative groups being very small, there is always a crisis of negative blood in the state," said Bhanulal Saha, deputy speaker of the Tripura assembly, on the occasion of the formation of the West District Negative Blood Donors' Club."Such a club will indeed be helpful for patients who require negative blood. Its formation is a step ahead in our voluntary blood donation movement," he added.

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