The world commemorates November 11 as Remembrance Day. But what a way the students of Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN) chose to mark this day!
Over the last weekend, the students of the West Demerara Hindu secondary school, Saraswati Vidya Niketan (SVN), on their own organized their first Dipavali Blood Donation Drive, as their Divali gift to the nation, and the result was absolutely spectacular.During the course of the two days, 10th and 11th of November, a total of 324 individuals recruited by the students, participated in the life-saving exercise with 303 individuals actually donating and with a mere 21 deferrals. What was unusual about this drive in contrast to the one held in May of this year is the small, almost insignificant, number of deferrals. Then there was an inexplicable stunning 148 deferrals out of a total of 401 participants. The difference in the Dipavali drive is clearly due to the high professionalism of the current staff and technicians of the National Blood Transfusion Service.
We sincerely thank and congratulate them for a magnificent job, and look forward to working with them in the future. But the greatest thanks and gratitude must be reserved for the students of SVN, especially the fifth-formers. Equal to SVN’s 2012 outstanding CSEC results, our students have achieved a remarkable feat. While on account of other responsibilities I have had to be away from Guyana over the weekend and could not be on hand to savour their achievement, as their principal I am deeply touched by their commitment to this cause and the dedication and energy they showed in the process.
I am sure that their teachers and parents are equally proud of this magnificent goodwill and at this early age their ability to give back to the society. I will urge our students to ensure that the Dipavali Blood Donation Drive becomes a permanent feature of their calendar of activities.
While the Dipavali drive is one solely organized by the students, it should be remembered that they have been the dominant partner in the SVN-SEVA annual blood drive held in collaboration with the Cornelia Ida Hindu Temple since 2007. Each year since then our students have each been responsible for recruiting at least one donor.
While the result of the May 2012 drive was disappointing 253 donors on account of the high rate of deferral, each year since 2007, even including 2012, our effort resulted in the largest single blood donation drive in the Caribbean. Thus, in 2007 which was our first attempt we obtained a mere 76 units but this was increased to 176, 214, 262 and 308 for each of the subsequent years.
Just as we enjoyed and celebrated your remarkable success at the 2012 CSEC, let us celebrate this moment. It is truly a high point in SVN’s life. Your school is proud of you. Your parents are proud of you, and Guyana is proud of you. You are the greatest. I am confident that you will be great citizens of this beautiful Guyana. Our students know that I have always been demanding their best. Many of them and even some parents have complained their best never seemed enough for me and I have never stopped demanding and demanding. But for now no more demands, only a little challenge to reach for 500 units in 2013 to celebrate SVN’s tenth anniversary.