Jaipur, Sep 8 (IANS) Former Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister and ex-PCC chief Sachin Pilot's 43rd birthday has been celebrated in a different manner as around 45,000 people donated blood, witnessing the highest number of donors turning out to donate blood following a call by any public leader in the state, to date.
Pilot's birthday on Monday was, in fact, more like a show of strength as hoardings were put along the roads, plantation programmes were organised, animal fodder was arranged, eye donation camp was set up in different parts of the state, food and fruits were distributed among the poor, and books were distributed to the poor children in all districts of the state.
Prior to his birthday, Pilot had himself appealed to people to not come to Jaipur and crowd in times of the Covid-19 pandemic, asking party workers and supporters to come forward and donate blood instead.
“I have made an appeal to everyone to not congregate in Jaipur in order to wish or greet me on my birthday on September 7. The health and safety of the people is of paramount importance and we all have to follow the protocol and guidelines issued by the authorities,” he said in a statement ahead of his birthday.
Following his advice, his supporters and activists did not come to Jaipur but donated blood at different places of the state to script history.
According to the data received from the districts, 7,222 units of blood were donated in Jaipur city, 6,151 units in Jhalawar, 3,453 units in Jaipur Rural, 3,182 units in Sikar, 3,181 units in Ajmer, 2,390 units in Alwar, and 2,211 units were donated in Dausa.
This massive blood donation drive organised in Rajasthan in all 200 Assembly seats have left a mark on Pilot's 43rd birthday.
Though the drive comes as a gesture of social service to mark his birthday, it is also seen by many as political messaging conveying that Pilot still enjoys the support of party cadres and youngsters throughout the state, said one of the Congress workers citing the recent political crisis where Pilot's posters were taken off from PCC office soon after he opened revolt against the present leadership of the state and went to Delhi with his 18 supporting MLAs.
On Monday, Pilot thanked his supporters in a video message and said: “Donation of blood is the most humane gesture in Covid-19 times, The support of people of Rajasthan has been a great source of strength for me and am thankful for blessings of people who wished me on my birthday as well as donated blood for a noble cause.”
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's camp, however, was not active during the blood donation drive and wished Pilot on Twitter.