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Arundhati Jewellers banks on customers’ good intent for blood donation camps it organizes at its stores

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Arundhati Jewellers banks on customers’ good intent for blood donation camps it organizes at its stores

Achyutananda Meher, Director, Arundhati Jewellers is an ardent advocate of voluntary blood donation, and has been collaborating with the State Government and Red Cross over the years to organize blood donation camps

Bhubaneswar: Corporate social responsibility is a mandatory part of progressive jewellery brands. Associating business with charitable projects requires tenacity and commitment, which Achyutananda Meher, Director, Arundhati Jewellers, has shown in good measure, by organizing blood donation camps at its stores across Odisha. An ardent advocate of voluntary blood donation, Meher has been banking on customers’ curiosity and good intent to go beyond transactions to make the drive a success.

For Arundhati Jewellers, organizing blood donation camps has been a regular activity over the years. This year, the camps were held at its stores at Panthanivas Bhubaneswar and in Balangir and Bhawanipatna regions. “For the past three years, we have been celebrating February 25 as Blood Donation Day. Thanks to Odisha Government and the Red Cross, which has a tie-up with us, our camps help collect blood for Government blood banks across district headquarters. If we collect blood in Bhubaneswar or Balangir, it is stored in blood banks of the respective district headquarters,” explains Meher.

Meher became a Rotarian in 2009, but the blood donation initiative was started by Arundhati Jewellers much earlier. After 2009, Meher ensured that the brand collaborated with different NGOs and clubs to encourage more donors to be part of this initiative. “We carry out these camps across all locations of our stores by tying up with the State Government. In bigger cities, private hospitals also hold blood donation camps, but in smaller districts such as Balangir, the Government is the sole organizer of such activities. The brand gets a certificate from the Government, acknowledging our initiative,” Meher states.

Strong individual belief creates a foundation for a company that cares, and Meher had an interesting personal story to share on this note. When he first shared his intent to donate blood with his family, they expressed concern that it would affect his health. To prove that blood donation is indeed harmless for a healthy individual, Meher donated blood for one of his friends who had met with an accident. He was able to convince his family of the complete care taken both of the donor and recipient during and after blood donation. This built trust within his family, and his initiative soon inspired others. Since then, Meher started encouraging people to donate blood. “Back in 2009, people needed to be coaxed hard to understand the concept behind blood donation and act on it, but it’s much better these days. Now, people in the age group of 25-40 are willingly donating blood,” Meher observes.

Arundhati Jewellers usually works with government bodies to facilitate blood donation camps at its stores, but when there is a dearth of space for setting up the infrastructure, it works with district headquarter hospitals as well.

Meher cites an interesting insight into a customers’ curiosity leading him to be a blood donor. “A particular customer visited us on a Sunday, and asked for a certain staff member. When we said that he is busy with our blood donation drive, the customer showed interest. He bought jewellery from us and then donated blood,” Meher narrates.

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