Hindus in the US plan to donate blood to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this year. The Hindu Mandirs Executive Conference (HMEC), an apex body of about 600 temples in the US, has appealed to the Hindus who form majority of the approximately three million Indian-Americans in the US to join the effort.
The initiative is expected to benefit patients of Asian descent who require a closer blood match than that provided by ABO positive/negative blood typing.
The HMEC, which is coordinating the initiative with agencies such as the American Red Cross, said it is extremely important to increase the number of available blood donors from the Asian communities.
This is for the first time that such an event will be held at temples across North America, the organisers said.
Just five percent of the total eligible population in the US gives blood, however less than one percent of the Asian community donates blood, HMEC said in a statement on Friday.
According to the US National Institutes of Health, nearly 14 million units of whole blood and red cells are required every year.
Rahul M. Jindal, transplant surgeon at Walter Reed AMC and national coordinator for the event, has urged Hindus and Indian-Americans to donate blood on 9/11 or around that time.
About 3,000 people were killed Sep 11, 2001, in the US when Al Qaeda terrorists crashed hijacked commercial jets into the twin towers of the Word Trade Centre, the Pentagon and in a field.
Dinesh G. Patel, chief of arthroscopic surgery, Harvard, said: "Our karma (action) is to follow our dharma (duty) and that is to perform our prescribed duty without anticipating any fruits.
"What better cause to do than donate our blood where our spirit of giving is flowing and do without thinking about race, religion, gender or age."
The HMEC, an initiative of Vishwa Hindu Parishad America, seeks to promote the Hindu religion in North America.