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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

Saviours in khaki win friends with blood donation

cities Updated: Oct 10, 2019 19:12 IST
Farhan Ahmed Siddiqui
Farhan Ahmed Siddiqui
Hindustantimes
         

A group of young police personnel chose to save lives with blood donation to project a people-friendly image for the force a few years ago and, today, the initiative has taken the form of a statewide movement, which is popular as ‘police mitra’.

Aimed at helping poor patients, ‘police mitra’ organises regular blood donation camps across the state. The group provides blood to at least six patients each day and the numbers are increasing gradually. With over 1000 members, ‘police mitra’ enjoys the patronage of top police officials of the state.

A few enthusiastic young policemen led by constable Asish Mishra formed the group less than three years ago. The group includes a large number of policewomen, along with personnel posted in the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) and the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). Members of other professions, including lawyers, social activists and even media persons are also joining the group, which is active in all eight zones of the state.

“Police mitra is doing a commendable job to help poor patients by donating blood and saving their lives. Although the aim of the group is to help the patients, its efforts are projecting the real picture of cops—that of saviours in the society. More policemen, including senior officials, and people of other professions are now joining the group,” said KP Singh, DIG, Prayagraj range.

The group is approached by patients through social media and other means.

Ashish Mishra got the motivation to start the group for blood donation when he met a poor woman whose only child had died because she failed to arrange blood for him in time. He then started donating blood to patients himself. He also arranged blood with the help of a few colleagues who named their group ‘police mitra’.

Mishra is posted in the social media cell of the office of the DIG Prayagraj range.

“Change can be brought at any level and by any individual, irrespective of his post and capacity in the society. As a police constable, it was tough to take an initiative, which requires time, resources and manpower, but I did not turn back despite the odds. I continued my work and motivated my colleagues to join me in the social cause. My objective is that patients should not suffer and die if their attendants have failed to arrange blood in time,” Mishra said.

Mishra, his colleague Ajay Maurya and others formed WhatsApp groups for all eight zones of the state in which policemen are added zone-wise. An overarching WhatsApp group ‘police mitra’ has also been formed in which cops, social activists, media persons are added to seek suggestions and receive information about poor patients in need of blood.

The group is also active on Twitter and Facebook through which the policemen and youths are motivated to donate blood regularly. The active group members also note the details of the patients who receive blood. Their photographs are uploaded on social media sites not only to improve the image of policemen, but also to motivate other cops and youths to donate.

The small group began to make its presence felt at a rapid pace and soon senior IPS officials took notice and patronized it.

IPS officers Ajay Pal, Ashish Tiwari, Akash Tomar, former SSP Prayagraj Nitin Tiwari and may others are part of ‘police mitra’ which gained prominence when it organised a massive blood donation camp during Kumbh-2019. Many senior IPS officials, along with religious leaders, donated blood during the camp.

‘Police mitra’ received more support when DGP Uttar Pradesh OP Singh felicitated constable Ashish Mishra with a silver commendation disc for his effort in saving lives and projecting police personnel in a new role.

“Police mitra’ is receiving massive support and patronage from senior police officials who are also a part of the group. Started as a small initiative for social cause, the group is now working in an organised manner and is also joined by social activists, lawyers and media persons. Policemen are often criticized for different reasons but now it’s time people change their views about cops,” says constable Ajay Maurya.

First Published: Oct 10, 2019 19:12 IST

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