In December 2016, Kiran Verma quit his lucrative marketing job to stand up for the cause of voluntary blood donation as, according to him, about 12,000 people die in India every year due to the unavailability of blood.
A year later, Verma initiated a non-profit cause that he named Change With One. The foundation is endeavoring to create a world where no one dies waiting for blood donation.
“We are working to solve blood donation-related issues and aim to bring harmony and social equality by connecting people to donate or receive blood through our virtual blood donation platform called Simply Blood. Our mission is to save lives through voluntary blood donations,” he told Anadolu Agency on the occasion of Blood Week observed from May 6 to 12.
The NGO also strives to provide basic sustainability where all children attain an education, good health and well-being so they no longer die of illnesses and have access to clean water and food.
“We respect the culture and diversity, and hence, we are one,” said the 37-year-old Delhi-based social activist.
“We are working to ensure that nobody dies waiting for blood in India."
The platform has so far saved about 35,000 lives by ensuring the timely availability of blood.
Verma recalled a disturbing incident in 2016 which made him leave his high-paying job and resolve to work towards ensuring free access to donated blood. He said it is outrageous that middlemen or touts charge money for providing the donated blood to needy people.
“In December 2016, I received a call from a person who told me that a poor family from (the central Indian state of) Chhattisgarh urgently required blood. I donated blood to that family," he said.
"But later, when I chanced to meet the patient’s wife, I learned the person who had called me had collected 1,500 Indian rupees (about $25) in lieu of the blood donated for free. This was a lot of money for the poor woman and she was even forced into prostitution to pay medical bills. This incident shook me and changed the course of my life."
Verma is currently on a 21,000-kilometer (around 13,000-mile) trek across the country on foot to motivate people to donate blood. The journey began last Dec. 28 and will be completed in nearly two years, covering all states and union territories.
“The aim is to inspire people to donate blood so that blood banks and hospitals don't run out of blood,” says Verma. His goal is that "nobody should die because of a lack of blood by 2025 in India.”
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