Most of us are aware of the overwhelming need of blood that many patients and victims require. Here are some of the stats with regard to India:
Requiring an annual number of 110 lac units of blood, the amount donated despite various awareness campaigns is just 48 lac units. As one can see, this results in a 62 lac unit annual shortage. The result of this imbalance causes as many as 7 deaths every hour due to need of blood, while blood is being needed by someone every 2 seconds. Also, some of the facts concerning the state of blood donation in India are appalling, given that 30% of the blood in India is adulterated and while 8% of the American population donate blood atleast once a year, it is a meagre 3% in India.
This is what led Shouvik Saha and Bhaskar Choudhry to setup easyblood.info, a website that provides a platform to locate voluntary blood donors for any given blood group in more than 2500 cities of India. An online portal being run under its parent organization, People For Change, it makes information about blood donors from all over the country available at a single spot via the click of your mouse.
“EasyBlood was started to provide a common platform for blood donors and receivers to connect directly with each other. It aims to ease the process of searching for a blood donor in times of an emergency by providing a direct link to matching and interested donors across the country,” says Shouvik.
Quitting lucrative posts in Cholamandalam and HDFC bank respectively, Shouvik and Bhaskar set up People for Change, an NGO in 2009, currently operating out of Jamshedpur. “Although we don’t have physical offices of easyBLOOD, we have initiated local chapters in Kharagpur, Hazaribagh, Mugma and Patratu,” says Shouvik.
Talking about how it all started off, Shouvik says, “While on our travels across the country with regard to our work at People for Change, we came across some startling facts about blood donation in India. We did a bit of research ourselves and found that this could be solved if Indians began to donate voluntarily. This led us to easyBLOOD.”
Speaking numbers, Shouvik says, “India has around 14 crore internet users. 12 crore of these users are above 18 years of age, which is the age criterion to donate blood. If this user base is motivated to donate even once a year, it can address the blood shortfall of India. easyBLOOD aims to target this user group to bridge the blood deficit.”
Referring to how it works, Bhaskar says, “You just have to register to donate and only donate when contacted by a person in need of blood. The registration is free and it costs nothing to become a member. Also the very fact that a donor can actually see the person he’d be donating to, adds a personal touch to the process and acts as an added incentive for a person to donate.”
Although the site took off only very recently on 17th December 2011, the responses have been encouraging. “So far around 500 people have joined as members. We have even already had cases where receivers have used this site to find donors and receive blood.”
The future is encouraging with the plan being to touch all 2500 cities by starting local chapters in the years to come. “Even getting linked to government hospitals, health centres and blood banks, reaching out to more people and initiating a two way working relationship are all on the agenda,” says Shouvik.
A great effort indeed; all of us wish Bhaskar and Shouvik the very best to achieve what they have set out for. And we at YourStory.in would also like to encourage our readers to join this cause and help save lives. You never know when someone might need your help!
Do check out and become a member at - www.easyblood.info