“Sankalp”- A solemn vow of sheer hard work, determination, passion, vision and persistence to ensure that no individual ever dies due to lack of blood and to promote 100% Voluntary Blood Donation. A group of young students, who took this vow on 23rd May, 2003, have come a long way to celebrate the spirit of 1000 Voluntary Blood Donation Drives on 12th July, 2017.
Time has flown by and we have entered the 15th year of Operations. When we started off in 2003, little did we know what distance we would have walked. With the purpose of “Giving Life a Better Chance” we wanted to fight the limitations in the current healthcare delivery mechanisms in the field of Blood Donation and Thalassemia.
What does it take to achieve something as big as this milestone? What is the one quality that defines us in Sankalp? And what differentiates us from others?
The answer to all these is just one word: Persistence. The persistence, to do the right thing the right way, day in and day out. “Persistence” to deliver quality at every single drive. Real change comes only with persistence. The biggest achievement for us is not that we did 1000+ events. It's not the number of organizations with whom we work (whether blood banks or companies). Nor is it the fact that we have collected more than 88000 units of blood in these events.
The real achievement over the years is the fact that we have never diverged from the basic principles which lay at the foundation of this organization. It's the small things that matters. It's the fact that we have documented every single drive, followed up with every donor who reported complication in camp, evaluated the feedback, spent hours and sometimes days together to brainstorm and then bring in positive changes to the way that entire drive is conducted. The real change is the fact that our processes have ingrained into the teams we work with, that our donors are much more informed and this means that blood donation drives have fundamentally changed. This means quality drives can happen even without involvement of Sankalp. And that's the beauty of persistence!
Ensuring quality and sustainability, we celebrated our 1000th Blood Donation Drive at ITPB, Bangalore. It was a proud moment for all the Volunteers, Donors, Blood Banks and Individuals who are associated with Sankalp. It was also the 40th Camp at ITPB. We had put up a “Wall of Fame”, which had captured the various moments of the Voluntary Blood Donation Drives of Sankalp since 2007. It portrayed the different donors who have experienced the joy of helping others.
Our donors at ITPB who are already registered with us were sent emails and messages inviting them to donate blood at the 1000th Camp. Many of them came with a smiling face, and were delighted when they found the familiar volunteers of Sankalp India Foundation. They donated Blood, congratulated the team heartily and left behind messages, signing on the Wall of Fame.
Rakta Kranti is an initiative of Sankalp India Foundation to bring in 100% Voluntary Blood Donation in Bangalore and thereby ensure continuous availability of safe blood. This is done by organizing efficient and well-managed blood donation drives with standards that are comparable to the best in the world. We bring to the donor all the information related to blood donation that makes him/her absolutely comfortable and confident about the process.
After working with nearly 40 blood banks across the state, conscious decision has been made to stick with the best Blood Bank Teams who displayed commitment to both the donors and the patients for our blood donation drives. We believe that with this significant step in our journey, we have been able to ensure quality and sustainability.
Some key changes we have brought into voluntary blood donation drives
- Ensure adherence to best practices in every phase of the blood donation drive
- Uniform Policy for handling deferrals
- Uniform policy for identifying, handling, monitoring and documenting complications in blood donation drives.
- Marking Non Compliance for Blood Banks
- Planning and Distributing the collection of Blood Stocks in the peak shortage period, and not clustering the drives on the days of national importance, or overloading the stocks in the city during blood availability has always been strategy of Sankalp.
- Every day provides new opportunities to learn. Every drive is a new challenge. It's a new experience at each drive.
The best thing is to meet different people, understand their perspective. These people, our donors, are the real change makers. We are just there to facilitate them. Our donors are committed to the cause and believe in making the difference. And we are fortunate to have them. Highly committed individuals, coming in from all spheres of life, all age groups and all the genders.
“Some changemakers: A volunteer who can't lift weights due to his medical condition, but still is the first one to show up at every single drive in his organization. He can't donate blood but is actively involved in volunteering throughout the camps. Another volunteer from a different organization who preserves his leaves to be a part of the blood donation drive at his campus. He takes full day off and spends all his time volunteering in blood donation camp. A group of girls who do an excellent job motivating people and getting donors for public drives. A 63-year-old man who is so keen to donate he has a healthy discussion with us on policies and deferral criteria and so does a 17-year-old boy!”
Every single donor in our camp, every volunteer, every blood bank staff deserves a special pat on the back for their enormous contribution to our success.
There are many challenges to come, many barriers to cross and many stones to upturn. So, we would continue to work with same zeal, dedication and enthusiasm until we achieve our goal. The goal of 100% voluntary blood donation. The promise that no one suffers from lack of blood.
A day might come when our services are no longer needed in the field of voluntary blood donation, when our dreams come true and we achieve what we strive for. But till then, keep walking!