In a bid to foster national unity and cultural exchange, the National Social Service (NSS) organized a week-long National Integration Camp at Kalyani University, bringing together selected students from fifteen states, across India.
In a heart-wrenching incident, a transgender in Kolkata was not allowed to donate blood due to the high risk of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) at a blood donation camp in Banhughly.
Although, after an argument, the health worker allowed the transgender to donate blood, this incident still raises various questions about why a transgender is stopped from donating blood.
Expressing his views on such an incident, Ranjit Sur General Secretary of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) told ANI, “I do not support such type of incident. From my point of view, this is a violation of human rights. Alas after these incidents, I look into the matter and found there is a guideline in the National Blood Transfusion Council that transgender, gay, homosexual or lesbian are not allowed to donate blood. But the reason behind this is not mentioned clearly and is unscientific.”
He said that various people including the ones who are involved in the blood donation camp are not aware of these guidelines and on moral grounds, restricting someone from donating blood is a violation of human rights.
“People, including those who are involved in the blood donation camp don’t know about these guidelines and are also not aware of this. Blood donation is a social duty and on a ground of gender-identity, restricting someone from donating blood is a violation of human rights. We raise this issue on a serious note,” Sur said.
Speaking about this issue, D Ashish Secretary of Medical Bank Kolkata told ANI that they organise blood donation camps all over the state but it is often noticed that the transgenders are ignored by the officials and other members of the camp.
“We organise blood donation camps all over the state, but unfortunately, we see transgenders being ignored by doctors, the health team and other teammates who are included at the camp. There are a few reasons behind this, but the guideline regarding transgender to be allowed to donate their blood are not very much clear,” he said.
Anurag Maitrayee transgender rights activist who was the chief speaker told ANI that donating blood is their right like other citizens and if anyone doesn’t allow for blood donation then this is very much humiliation for them.
Meanwhile, Dr Manabi Bandopadhyay Principal of the college under Calcutta University told ANI that there are no specific rules or guidelines of the central or state government which restrict the transgenders from donating blood.
“All guidelines made by the non-government institutes are wrong and inhuman. How can they decide that transgenders’ life is at high risk? We are not sex workers, we are just changing our sex. If anyone says about HIV possibility by transgenders’ blood, they should first know about HIV which is not spread by women or transgender, HIV originated by men. Transgenders also have the right to do their duties for society,” she said.