What do youngsters do with their pocket money? Splurge on a movie and dinner, go shopping for the latest clothes, get their cellphone recharged — those would be the regular answers. But there are 347-odd youngsters in Ranchi who are using their money for a greater cause.
These good samaritans donate blood, provide medical assistance and any other kind of help to the needy and downtrodden. Under the banner of Suraksha Dasta, this chain of friends is also known to assist the district administration by providing manpower to take care of security during festivals, especially Durga Puja, and by putting up medical aid stalls with ambulance service.
Since its inception in 2003, Dasta has done a lot of good work in the state capital. It got two girls from poor families married. “Most of the money spent on the two marriages came out of the pockets of Dasta members; the rest we arranged from our friends and family members,” Rupesh Chourasia, president and one of the founders of Suraksha Dasta, told the Hindustan Times.
In July, Dasta members transformed from social workers to sleuths and busted a fake para-medical institute, the Jharkhand Institute of Medical Technology.
So far, the members have donated nearly 200 units of blood. “We have a list of our members’ blood groups and we donate whenever needy persons approach us,” said convenor Paramod Kumar Jaiswal.
With all the good Dasta does, some of it is bound to come back to it. Like it did during the Chhath puja, when members distributed fruit, milk and other puja items in various localities. “While milk was being sold at Rs 40 per litre, we arranged for over 120 litres of milk at Rs 15 per litre. We got it cheap as we had donated blood to one of the members of the family that sold us the milk,” said Rajkumar Pandit, executive-president of Dasta.