KOLKATA: A Muslim youth broke his fast so that he could donate blood to a seven-year-old girl, suffering from thalassemia, in West Bengal’s Nadia district. The region on the Indo-Bangladesh border has witnessed sharp polarisation on religious lines among the electors in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections.
Osman Gani Sheikh did not think twice when he received a call from the girl’s father, a stranger, who was in dire need of A-positive blood.‘‘I mentioned my contact number on Facebook profile and said if anyone needs blood, he or she can contact me. I had to break my fast to save the girl’s life. I did not think twice. It is because I had to run from pillar to post to collect blood for a relative in 2016. Since then, I decided to donate blood,’’ said Osman, a post-graduate student of history.
Fish vendor Gautam Das’s only child Rakhi has been suffering from the disease for three years. He took his daughter to the Krishnagar district hospital where the doctors told him that she was in need of immediate blood transfusion. The father was desperately looking for a donor.
‘‘A youth living in the same area as us informed us about Osman’s Facebook profile. He also gave his contact number,’’ said Gautam. ‘‘I received the call on Friday night. He was crying and requesting me to save his daughter,’’ said Osman, who is in his early 20s.
Osama reached Krishnagar on Saturday. ‘‘I was fasting. The doctors told me I would not be allowed to donate blood. They suggested I eat biscuits and water. I had no option but to break my fast,’’ recounted Osman.
Schindranath Sarkar, the superintendent of the hospital, said the girl’s health would have been deteriorated had she not received blood immediately. Gautam said he would never forget Osman’s help. Osman is also the group admin of a Whatsapp group of blood donors. The group has over 1,000 members from all over Bengal.