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.
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.
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.
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.
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
London, Mar 17, 2017: Three Sikhs in British have admitted involvement in a passport scam under which they misused the passports of their family members to help Afghan asylum seekers in entering the UK wearing turbans to hide their identity in 2014.
Harmit Kapoor, Daljit kapoor and Davinder chawla, all three cousins in their 40s, pleaded guilty before the commencement of their trial at Inner London Crown Court on Tuesday, as stated in a PTI report.
They accepted two conspiracy charges in helping Afghan asylum seekers in entering the UK illegally between May and June 2014 and will be sentenced later this month.
“ We say these three are the facilitators in this organised crime, where they are using genuine British passport holders within the Sikh community. It’s a Sikh conspiracy and it’s occurring because it’s very difficult for the authorities at the border control to distinguish who’s who on the passports’” prosecutor Edward Aydin said.
The border staff failed to spot the difference in the passports shown by the Afghans, all of which had photos of Sikhs wearing their turbans.
Paying around 12,000 pounds per family to the fraudsters, around 30 Afghans are known to have successfully claimed asylum.
The Afghan families were handed genuine passports by a gang member in Paris, enabling them to get through airport security. The gang retrieved the passports once the Afghans entered the country and later reused them with new families.
Harmit Kapoor also admitted booking flights between June 8 and June 21, 2014, for the asylum seekers, while Chawla admitted hiring a vehicle to facilitate their entry into Britain when he drove to Paris.
In February 2011, Chawla had been jailed for a similar crime accompanied by four other men.
The French Authorities were alerted by Airline Staff who suspected something was wrong, leading to the immigration racket being busted.
Joginder Dawan, a 41 year old fourth suspect, pleaded not guilty to one conspiracy while pleading guilty to the charge of contributing in the offence by permitting the use of his passport for flight and travel booking. In both cases, not guilty verdicts were recorded in his favour and he was discharged.
Government turned away thousands of people including homosexuals who wanted to donate blood after the Orlando Shooting
The Federal ban policy was put in place in the 1980s during the AIDS epidemic, and it barred gay and bisexual men
FDA ban excludes the remaining 85 percent of gay men who would be suitable and safe blood donors
Thousands of people, including homosexuals, lined up to donate blood after the Orlando nightclub shooting. However, due to US government laws, they were turned away. The laws restrict homosexual people from donating blood if they have been sexually active within the past one year.
This caused anger and resentment among the gays. They are calling for the lifting of this federal ban.
The policy was put in place in the 1980s during the AIDS epidemic, and it barred gay and bisexual men from donating blood out of fear that they were at high risk of being HIV-positive and could contaminate the blood supply.
Last year in 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revised the policy, allowing contributions provided the gay men had been celibate for one year.
Public health advocates, who argued for lifting the blood donation ban last year in 2015, say the policy does not keep pace with some recent scientific developments to safeguard the blood supply against HIV.
Sean Cahill, director of health policy research at the Fenway Institute in Boston, said the revised policy is still unfair. The Fenway Institute does public health advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community.
According to Cahill, the so-called nucleic acid test is now available to detect the presence of HIV in a pint of blood in less than two weeks, compared with the months it used to take. The test is performed on all blood samples to make sure they don’t contain the virus.
Cahill said the second development involves a method of destroying most pathogens in blood, be they bacteria or viruses, including the AIDS virus.
“Even if somehow an HIV-positive unit of blood gets through the systems that are in place, this pathogen inactivation technology could destroy the HIV in that unit of blood,” Cahill said.
Cahill said the one-year ban doesn’t allow for those males who are in monogamous relationships or who are happily married and are HIV-negative.
People in other high-risk groups are not barred from giving blood, according to Cahill. These individuals include those who have intercourse with sex workers, or intravenous drug abusers who may be donating blood in exchange for money to buy drugs.
Call for updated policy
Cahill called for a more refined blood donation policy.
“We would really like to see a policy that … distinguishes between high-risk gay and bisexual men and low-risk gay and bisexual men, and actually looks at individual risk as opposed to looking at people as members of groups.”
Cahill explained that 15 percent of gay men are HIV-positive in the U.S., but the FDA ban excludes the remaining 85 percent of gay men who would be suitable and safe blood donors. He also said that the supply of banked blood nationwide would increase by 2%-4% if this ban was lifted. He explained that it would also ease the social stigma that the gays feel in US.
–prepared by Devika Todi (with inputs from VOA), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: devika_todi