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British Sikhs give blood to raise human rights awareness

NEW YORK - APRIL 25: Sikhs prepare to march in the annual NYC Sikh Day Parade April 25, 2009 in New York City. Most Sikhs hail from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan; Sikh means disciple or learner. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

London: Sikhs in England will donate blood as part of a campaign inspired by a human rights activist in India to protest the mistreatment of Sikh political prisoners.

Till November 1, Sikhs across the country will visit blood donation clinics.

An internet campaign has been launched and #SikhBlood is a hot topic on Twitter, the Bristol Post reported on Tuesday.

A man from Bristol county, Dilawer Potiwal Singh (DP) said, “I have been moved by the images of Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa, who is currently on hunger strike in India to protest against the mistreatment of Sikh political prisoners. Blood donation saves lives and we are sure that hundreds of Sikhs will participate.”

“This is a small sacrifice as compared with Surat Singh’s hunger strike to highlight issues in India,” the 45-year-old resident said.

“I would urge all the Sikhs to donate blood and play their part in this campaign,” Singh said.

“We have a strong Sikh community in Bristol, so it’s important for all to get involved,” he said.

Surat Singh Khalsa is an 82-year-old American resident and Indian native.

He has been on hunger strike for 281 days in Punjab in an attempt to raise awareness about the Indian government’s treatment of Sikh political prisoners.


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Impressive Health Benefits of Donating Blood

benefits of donating blood
Donating Blood can actually make you healthier! Pixabay

Donating blood and staying healthy go hand in hand; thousands of people require blood every day in India but face a dilemma as the number of donators is comparatively less. Only one blood donation can save three lives.

Apart from regular blood donation one can also donate platelets which are done through a machine which filters the platelets and transports the blood back to the donor. This whole process takes around 70-90 minutes whereas a non-platelet donation takes only 45 minutes. Blood donors are supposed to 18 or above and are permitted to donate blood till 60 years of age in India.

Many are unaware that the process of blood donation is beneficial for both parties. Let’s talk about some health benefits of donating blood:

1.Reduces the Risk Of Cancer

One of the great benefits of Donating blood is, It can reduce the risk of cancer as the reduction of iron and iron stones in our body prevents the damage iron has been said to cause. According to a study published in the the Journal of the National Cancer Institute iron has been believed to increase free radical damage in our body and aging. A research conducted showed that a group of people who donated twice a year reduced their iron stores twice whereas another non donor group did not. The former group showed lower signs of cancer. The donation of blood is linked to the reduction in oxidative stress which is harmful.

The donation of blood is linked to the reduction in oxidative stress which is harmful. Pixabay

2. Protects and Preserves your Cardiovascular Health

A unifying factor for the risk of cardiovascular diseases is blood viscosity according to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. The damage done to your cells lining the arteries can be determined by how sticky and thick your blood is and how much friction is created through the vessels. The other benefits of Donating blood is, it decreases the blood viscosity and gets rid of the iron that could oxidize our blood. Oxidative stress damages our cardiovascular system. Blood donation also decreases the risk of hearts attacks and strokes specially participants aged between 43 & 61.

Blood donation also decreases the risk of hearts attacks and strokes. Pixabay

3. Calorie Burn

According to the University of California, One donation of blood can burn approximately 650 calories. A regular donor can lose a significant amount of weight but this is not a means of weight loss plan at all. In India, 50 kgs are the minimum weight required to donate blood. The donor should also maintain healthy iron levels in their body.

Testing is done for any possible diseases. Pixabay

4.Free Blood Check-Up

Before donating; donors are tested for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis and other diseases. Without testing, one cannot be eligible to donate blood as it is necessary to know what is in your bloodstream. Your blood can also be used for tests and research in the future upon your consent. So, here is one more benefits of donating blood, you can get your blood tested for free.

Prepared by Tanya Kathuria of Newsgram; Twitter: @TanyaKathuria97