In an audio message that has now gone viral, the Chennai-based behavioural counsellor narrates that she had been seeking blood donations for a friend’s mother.

In viral message Chennai woman talks of donor who didnt want to give blood to MuslimsImage for representation
Coronavirus Blood donation Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - 12:44

On Monday, Tamil Nadu woke up to the shocking news of a doctor in Chennai being denied a burial by residents who feared a potential infection spread. The resulting mob attack, which hurt and injured family and friends of the doctor, highlighted the lack of empathy, even in death. When 45-year-old Brindha Brighton heard the news, she decided to share an incident that had been bothering her for over a week.

In an audio message that has now gone viral, the Chennai-based behavioural counsellor narrates that she had been seeking blood donation for a patient's surgery. Given the nationwide lockdown to combat coronavirus, Brindha had posted the request on many groups, and she finally received a call from a potential donor.

“We wanted two units of B positive blood for my friend’s mother who was to undergo surgery. I got a call on April 9 at around noon. First, his wife spoke and asked who the patient was. It wasn’t very clear to me. Then he took the call. He asked who the patient was and what they were doing. I said he would not be needing that information, he would be donating blood to the hospital. Then he said, if they are Muslim, I can’t donate blood.” she recounts to TNM.

“When he said these words, I didn’t know what to say next. I had only tears in my eyes. Today, we are fighting the invisible coronavirus. Someone is struggling for life but he said that if it is such and such person, I won’t give. Only one question came to my mind. Are we all deserving of living in this world?” she asks in the audio, choked with emotion.

Brindha attributes a major share of the communal hatred to the media's coverage of the pandemic. “Even my neighbour believes that an event in Delhi is the main cause for the spread of coronavirus in India. But the spread happened in Italy too. The media must not use people, they have played a big role in creating this narrative,” she says, asking where the media stood on these issues.

The Tablighi Jamaat meet in Delhi, which took place from March 8 to March 22, has come under much controversy after it was found that several of those who attended the meet tested positive for coronavirus. A wide section of the media has been contributing to the narrative that those who attended the meet had done so to deliberately spread coronavirus in the country. Subsequently, there have been alarming news reports of Muslims being denied treatment in hospitals and even being kept in a separate ward from Hindus. While the political leadership stayed mum on the increasing polarisation, criticism from Middle Eastern countries finally prompted PM Modi to tweet that the coronavirus had no race or religion.

Brindha adds, “I hadn't shared the incident with anyone, but I cannot forget April 9. After I heard the news about the doctor, I had to share it. I thought to myself, when people are alive, they are talking like this. It is not surprising that they would treat him (the doctor) like this in death.”

Emphasising on the need to coexist, Brindha says that the patient ultimately got blood from her (Brindha’s) husband, who is O positive. “I strongly believe people are good. Circumstances, stimulus and environmental factors determine individuals. Media and politicians should initiate the stimulus.” she concludes.

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