Students donate blood for Deep South victims

Muslim and Buddhist youths turned out for a Yala drive to help those affected by insurgency violence.

By Adinan Malee in Betong and Somchai Huasaikul in Hat Yai

February 21, 2014
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More than 100 students from both the Thai Buddhist and Malay Muslim communities gave blood at a mobile clinic in Yala's Betong District earlier this month to help victims of Deep South violence.

  • Together, Buddhist and Muslim students donate blood in Yala on February 10th to help victims of Deep South violence. [Adinan Malee/Khabar]

    Together, Buddhist and Muslim students donate blood in Yala on February 10th to help victims of Deep South violence. [Adinan Malee/Khabar]

The Thai Red Cross Society's provincial chapter ran the February 10th clinic at Betong Industrial and Community Education College.

"We sometimes run short of blood supplies and have to ask for help from the central blood bank. In order to avoid having to do this, we have organised this special mobile clinic to accept donations to help local people injured in the unrest," said Anongsri Simsiri, Yala Red Cross Society chairwoman and wife of Yala Governor Dejrat Simsiri.

Donations usually are high around King Bhumibol Adulyadej's birthday in December and Queen Sirikit's birthday in August, Anongsri noted.

"But at other times of the year, we find supplies running low, so we organise these mobile donation clinics at various local schools. This not only allows us to keep our stocks up, but also raises awareness among youth about the importance of blood donation," she added.

The response from students has been positive, Betong Wiratprasan School teacher Pratuang Thungdee told Khabar Southeast Asia.

"We take part every time they organise a clinic, which is every three months. We do this in order to help victims of the unrest, in accordance with the requirements and restrictions laid down at the national level by the Thai Red Cross," he said.

A good deed's spiritual side

Although donating blood is a relatively new practice, most of the region's Thai Buddhists and Pattani Malay Muslims see it as an important spiritual act. Blood donors, also take pride in helping save lives regardless of faith or ethnicity, in the Deep South.

Many respected Islamic clerics cited the Qur'an in assuring the faithful. In Surah Al-Maidah 5:32, Allah says; "…and whoever saves a life, it is as if he saved mankind entirely".

For Buddhist donors, they "make merit" and thus increase karma in their path to enlightenment.

"I am quite proud and impressed with myself for having given blood in order to help society and our fellow mankind," Betong Wiratprasan School student Manaswee Charnweerawon told Khabar.

"The first time I gave blood, I was very apprehensive because I am someone who is very afraid of needles," Manaswee added. "But I just kept faith with my belief that if we are going out of our way to help others, then no harm will come from it."

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