An initiative was taken up the students of the Life Science Department, under the guidance of Dr Suma S, to collaborate with the Stem Cell Registry of India (SCRI), to host a Stem Cell Awareness and Donor Registration Drive within the main campus of CHRIST (Deemed to be University) on 3rd August 2018. This event was made possible with the approval and encouragement received from the HOD of Life Science Dept., Fr. Jobi Xavier.
The SCRI Head of Donor Recruitment and Communications, Mrs. Shalini Gambhir and her team comprising of Ms. Deepti Adhikari, Mr. Vysakh Shaji and Mr. Simon Joseph Das were in charge of training the volunteers involved in the program on the importance of becoming potential stem cell donors and the procedures involved during the registration process like filling up registration forms, administration of the buccal swab, barcoding of the samples, etc. The lead volunteers from CHRIST included Ms Priyanjali, Ms Chitanshi and Mr Adithya (BCZ final year students). Throughout the final week prior to the event, rigorous efforts were made by the volunteers to mobilize students from different academic backgrounds on the importance of this registration drive through charts, models, posters, rallies, announcements in classes and various forms of social media like WhatsApp, Facebook etc.
Awareness movement for the Stem Cell Registration Drive
On the 3rd of August 2018, while the registration process was taking place in campus, a seminar was conducted on “Stem Cells – A Life Saving Treatment”, to educate the students and faculty alike, on the current scenario of the need of stem cells for patients suffering from serious blood disorders. The talks were held in Room No 911, Central Block, Main Campus. The welcome address was given by Dr Suma S, Drive Coordinator and Associate Professor,
Dept of Life Sciences, CHRIST. The Associate Dean of Sciences, Dr George Thomas addressed the students on the importance of the drive. Dr. Govind Eriat, Consultant for Haemato-oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant Physician at Fortis Hospital, Banerghatta Road and Mrs. Shalini Gambhir, SCRI – Head Donor Recruitment and Communications delivered the lectures. This was followed by a short video explaining the stem cell donation process and the benefits. The other distinguished guests who were present during the occasion were Mr. Patrick Paul, Consultant – Finance and administration for DKMS heading India division and Mr. Vivek Shetty, Consultant- Business Development for DKMS heading India division. Both of them stressed the crucial need for a bigger stem cell registry in India. A very special guest, Chirag, an eleven year old Thalassemia fighter and survivor, who had previously received a stem cell transplant briefed the audience on how much of a difference a potential donor can bring about in the receiver’s life. Ms. Priyanjali Dias gave the vote of thanks. On the whole, the Registration Drive was a huge success with 542 potential donors signing up, which included several students as well as faculty members.
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