New Delhi: Terming blood donation "better" than pilgrimage, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday pitched for holding extensive donation campaigns to meet the shortfall in the blood units supply in the country.
The country receives around 10 million blood units against the annual demand of 12 million units and meeting the target should not be a big deal in a country as big as India, he said.
"By this time next year, there should be no shortfall if we work together," he said at the valedictory function to mark the culmination of the Blood Donor Week at the Indian Red Cross Society in New Delhi.
Extolling the act of blood donation Mr Vardhan said: "You go on Haj, to a temple or church...You go to a blood donation camp once in a year. That may be something better than all of this."
"Let us hold hundreds and thousands of meetings all across the country to educate and motivate people to donate blood. Let us start a social movement for health for all in the country, and for anyone to become a participant of this movement, they should start with donating blood," he said.
"What is required is to reach to as many people as we can because I have seen that they have the desire of doing something for the mankind," he said.
On the occasion, he also facilitated many blood donors, many of whom had donated more than 100 times.