Indian blood donor camps are extremely competitive, with some offering special incentives to those willing to give the gift of life. Photo: Flickr

Local residents and officials are seeing red over an unusual method being used to draw people to a mega blood donation camp in Kolkata.

A Kolkata-based organization, Durgotsav, has offered VIP passes to Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival being held in September, to those willing to donate on June 4.

“It’s unethical to lure someone to donate blood,” D Asish, the president of Kolkata Medical Bank, was quoted as saying. “Blood donation is noble… this is a criminal offence.”

Asish pointed out that West Bengal was once the second-largest blood donor in the country, but now it is in 13th place.

“To curb this competition between clubs in attracting blood donors, the government has decided that the [health] department will not accept blood from organizations offering gifts for blood donation,” said a statement from the West Bengal Health Department.

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