Student gives blood for NekNomination

Hartesh Battu is encouraging people to donate a pint rather than down one. Picture: Jane Barlow
Hartesh Battu is encouraging people to donate a pint rather than down one. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Among the sickening videos of people drinking vomit, gulping goldfish and downing deadly amounts of liquor there is one shining light – Hartesh Battu.

The Edinburgh University medical student donated pints of blood for his NekNomination dare in a bid to stop the dangerous craze that has taken social media by storm.

He filmed his responsible act and posted it on Facebook this week with a nomination for two others to follow his lead.

More than a dozen people have since donated and nominated, including friends that had never done so.

“It might sound quite insignificant but, for me, it’s just amazing because I didn’t really expect to have any impact at all,” the 21-year-old said.

“Obviously it’s a much more worthy cause than downing pints.

“Blood saves lives, that’s the truth of it.”

Mr Battu, originally from Glasgow, said he had a sense of social responsibility to stand up to dangerous drinking.

“I’m going to be a doctor in two years, I can’t go and tell people they need to cut back on their alcohol intake after I did something reckless and broadcast it. It would be very hypocritical of me.”

The craze began last month in which people have 24 hours to video themselves “nekking” a drink before nominating two friends.

Mr Battu said peer pressure and a lack of foresight were contributing to people posting damaging videos to the world. “Maybe people haven’t thought about the consequences.”

In attempts to outdo others, people have been taking dares to dangerous levels including a naked man who filmed himself at the top of Arthur’s Seat drinking a cocktail including cider, whisky and beer.

In another act of stupidity another man drank a large alcoholic drink in one go before jumping into a freezing Dunbar harbour.

The deaths of two people in Britain have also been linked to the online drinking game, which has been branded “irresponsible beyond belief” by alcohol campaigners.

In an attempt to stop others harming themselves, Nicki Hunter, from Prestonpans, posted a photo on the internet of her vomit-soaked son Keiren passed out on the sofa.

The 19-year-old nearly killed himself after drinking the equivalent of three bottles of spirits for his NekNomination dare.

Meanwhile, others have tried to put a positive spin on it.

A South African man’s idea of giving food to a stranger in need has taken off and an English DJ is being praised for drinking his morning coffee in one hit instead of booze.

However, Facebook rejected calls to take a stand against the lethal phenomena by banning NekNominate videos or associated pages.

newsen@edinburghnews.com