One fine evening, Few of the volunteers of Sankalp emergency wing received a call. A patient in Gulbarga urgently needed AB- blood. Gulbarga is one of the remotest places in Karnataka with very little blood awareness, and finding a donor there was a tough challenge. The blood banks of Gulbarga and its neighboring districts (Bijapur, Bidar, Raichur) were running dry! The volunteers were left with a very few options-
- Call up all possible blood banks in Gulbarga and neighboring districts and inquire them about donor contacts, if they had maintained any.
- Search for donors in online portals, and extend their search to social networking sites.
- Call up all Sankalp contacts and involve them in the donor search as well.
Unfortunately, none of the options worked out. The blood bank databases were age old- some dated back to times, when even mobile phones had not entered India. In one such database, a donor called Raju was located. His address and phone number were invalid. An old blood bank staff told the volunteers that Raju was once the president of Diksha, a local organization in Gulbarga, and no one knew his present location. Finding Raju was critical. He was their last hope!
The volunteers of Sankalp emergency wing conducted online searches for everyone they could locate, closely related to Diksha. These volunteers are not just blood search, but also Google search experts. Afterall, they are engineers! Members of Diksha were called- in the middle of the night. Most of them were either helpless, or irritated, but the volunteers didn't loose hope. After hours of exhaustive searching, they were able to locate Raju! The next time a call was made, these dreamers knew that one more life was saved!
Note- Considering the interest of the donor and his organization, the names have been changed.
What were the relatives of the patient told about blood donations and how they can actually contribute meaningfully to the drive? Alas, most of the times, once the crisis is over, patient relatives don't bother further. This area needs to be looked into so that next patient need not go through this scene!!
Kudos, to the team once again
It is really unfortuate that some people don't realise the importance of blood donation even after going through a personal emergencies. The hard thuth I could share is that even those who seem to be very moved and who end up making tall commitments about participation in camps often fall short of their commitment.
We do try to make them understand the importance of voluntarily blood donation but I must admit that due to the pressure during the emergency the emphasis is not much. SUrely we can have our volunteers focus more on this aspect.
Thanks once again