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Mega blood donation camp today at Anandpur Sahib

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Sikh holy town of Anandpur Sahib in Punjab will witness one of the biggest blood donation camps in the world March 10 during the Hola Mohalla celebrations at the Sikh shrine of Keshgarh Sahib, 90 km from here.

The blood donation camp, in which over 25,000 units of blood are being targeted for collection within 24 hours, is being organised jointly by the Akal Takht, the highest temporal seat of Sikh religion, the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Akal Purakh ki Fauj (Army of the Almighty).

The blood donation camp itself will be organised on the campus of the Khalsa College at Anandpur Sahib, an SGPC official said here. "The camp will help overcome the wrong notions about blood donation," he added.

He said that the Guinness Book of World Records has been invited for the historic and biggest-ever blood donation camp.

Sikhs and people from other communities are expected to arrive here from all over India and Punjab to participate in the festival and donate blood. Up to one million devotees are expected to come for the Hola Mohalla celebrations.

The annual Hola Mohalla festival is observed by the Sikh community at Anandpur Sahib to coincide with the Hindu festival of colours, Holi.

Hola Mohalla is famous for its colourful celebrations and the traditional valour and display of acrobatic martial art by the 'Nihang' (traditional warrior Sikh sect) community. During the festival, the Nihangs are divided into two camps, 'Hola' and 'Mohalla' and a mock battle takes place between the two sides.

Tens of thousands of people come to the festival every year in March. Anandpur Sahib is the place where the tenth Sikh Guru (master), Gobind Singh, had founded the 'Khalsa' (The Pure) on April 13, 1699. The modern Sikh religion, known for its bravery, sacrifice and entrepreneurship, derives much of its inspiration from the 'Khalsa Panth'.