The lack of availability of a matching blood group at the local blood bank and the tears of despair and helplessness of a woman, in need of blood for her husband, undergoing an emergency surgery is still fresh in my mind. The sigh of relief she felt when she got a blood donor. And a call from a potential blood donor at 3:00 am.
I was deeply moved by the incident, it compelled me to think about the lacunae in the system and impending need to bridge the gap. The incident motivated me to take up the initiative of creating an online database of volunteers willing to donate blood. After discussion on whats App, I have created “Ehsas – Ek Zindagi Bachane Ka” (EEZBK), an online database of voluntary blood donors.
It did not take too long to realize the fruits of EEZBK and my efforts! When once at late night in a chilly cold outside we could arrange the rarest blood group O negative for two kids admitted in Children Hospital. And I should thank all who came forward for Help Donors, Media and all those who supported us by sharing the blood requirement request link.
On 12 January 2017, my father had to undergo an emergency surgery on the same day at SMHS hospital, in Srinagar. I saw a lady accompanying her husband who had to go through a surgery. She was unable to find a blood donor and arrange blood for her husband and at the same time I saw another patient suffering from cancer.
In a short conversation with them, I came to know that they were looking for a blood donor but failed to trace a one. In the process, they lost some money in travel and the precious time as well. So I took advantage of facebook and whatsapp to arrange blood donors for them.
Within no time I got an overwhelming response, many a calls and even got a call at around 3 AM from a blood donor. The need was met and the family thanked the donor for his courage and selfless individuality. I was super excited, leaving both the donors and them with smiling faces! One was happy because her need was fulfilled and the other was happy because he was the source for her happiness; and I was excited because I could bring them together, bridge the gap between the donor and the recipient!
Soon after the incident, an idea struck in my mind to create a database which can prove helpful in these matters, save time and the lives as well.
My close friends have been extending immense support since, the day I have discussed the idea of launching a website to “Bridge the Gap” between the patient and potential blood donor.
I am thankful to all those who supported the initiative and continue working on creating awareness among the public about the patient-blood donor gap and need to fix it through volunteering and designing alternate mechanisms to save precious lives.
Initially I received support of few friends, but it was not too long that others have joined hands to work for the noble cause and it is now difficult to name them all. However, I pray to Almighty, may they be rewarded with the best in return!
During this journey, I met another enthusiastic person, who lives just a km away from my place. He is an important member of our dedicated EEZBK team, he strives day and night, plays a vital role and over sees all the functionalities and ensures that requests are responded and volunteers are arranged within shortest time possible.
I am also thankful to the media who played a vital role not only in the promotion of blood requirement request links but also ensuring that the needs have been fulfilled. Till date EEZBK has around 454 and counting registered volunteer blood donors, (47 A ve; 7 A-ve; 76 B ve; 9 B-ve; 74 O ve; 22 O-ve; 24 AB ve; 3 AB-ve; and over a 100 volunteers with profiles which are not updated), ready to help those in need.
My message to you is that “You can save a life, not just one but many, unknowingly”, so please help us to help the society. Let us join hands and work for humanity irrespective of caste, creed, color, status, wealth, race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, faith, or religion. Please remember, where there is a will there is a way!
(Yasir Rasool is a teacher by Profession at Bilaliya Educational Institute and is from Amda Kadal Lal Bazar, Srinagar. He is actively taking part in social welfare activities by his efforts and skills. He can be reached at [email protected])