His name is 'Blood' Kumar
At the launch of CTC Disha, a state-wide helpline for blood, one man’s story of blood donation was a cut above the rest. So much so that he has become known as Blood Kumar. This 45-year-old man who was born as B Kumar or Balan Kumar first donated blood as a 16-year-old; he has donated blood more than 120 times!
His first blood donation was during the fire accident at Venus Circus in the city. He and his brother were turned back because they were too young. "So we went back home, changed out of our uniforms, went back to the bank and donated blood!"
Though a person can normally donate blood once in three months, Kumar donates 24 times a year! Dr Prashant Pandey, a consultant of transfusion medicine with the BGS hospital, explains, "There is a process called the platelet apheresis which allows a person to donate only platelets. In that case a person can donate blood up to 24times a year. With dengue on the rise, there is a huge demand for blood platelets. These donors save many lives."
Kumar organised a blood donation camp at his wedding reception in 2006. "I asked the eight hundred guests not to give me presents but just donate blood. Quite of few them did do just that!" he says.
Dial for blood
9480044444. This is the number to dial if there's a need for blood anywhere in Karnataka. The helpline called CTC Disha was first launched in the city three years ago. On Saturday, it was made a statewide service. It is a joint effoort of Sankalp India Foundation and Comprehensive Trauma Consortium. It networks with various blood banks in the state. "We get about 16 request every day and we have never said No to even one request in the last three years," says Rajat Agarwal, president of Sankalp India Foundation. This is an entirely voluntary organisation (you don't get paid for anything i.e. travel,time).