LUCKNOW: Desire to own a smartphone and little extra pocket money tempted the three teenage boys to donate their blood at the Kohli Pathology and Blood Bank for Rs 500 for each unit of blood.
A raid on this blood bank by UP health officials and police on Friday had revealed that three minors, all of whom were not medically fit, were lured into donating blood for a fee. Three persons were arrested and the blood bank sealed.
"I have been saving money for some time to buy a cell phone. When an agent from the blood bank told me that I could earn some extra money, I couldn't resist," said 14-year-old Sanjay (name changed), a resident of Chowk area.
His father had died four years ago and mother works in a clinic and ears Rs 3000 a month. Sanjay also works as sales boy at a garment shop for Rs 2000 a month. But, their total monthly income is not enough to feed the family of five which includes Sanjay's two siblings and grandmother. Sanjay claimed that he was approached by one Ghazni, who works for the pathology clinic. "He assured me that I would not feel any weakness after donating blood," he told TOI.
The legal age for blood donation is 18 years and the hemoglobin level should be 13 of a donor. In this case, the raiding team found that all three were under-age and hemoglobin levels below 12.
All the three 'donors' were from economically weak families. Police said that they were approached by two agents of the blood bank Ghazni and Rahul.
Unlike Sanjay, Sudhanshu (name changed), donated blood for the third time on Friday for money. "After my father passed away seven years ago, mother is running the family by working in various households as baby sitter and doing petty jobs," said Sudhanshu, a class IX dropout, who needed money for his personal daily expenses. "I am looking for a job for the past one year and don't want to be burden on my mother anymore. A few bucks in a month through blood donation provides me enough `pocket money'," he said.
Father of the third minor donor did not allow media-persons to talk to his son.