This 18-Yr-Old From Bengaluru Is Trying To Ensure That No Life Is Lost Due To Blood Scarcity
Despite being a country with a population of over 1.2 billion, India faces a blood shortage of three million units every year. On the other hand, our nation requires about four crore units of blood, out of which only 40 lakh units of blood are available and more than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day. Lack of awareness, incorrect information and myths surrounding donation are the main reason behind the shortfall of blood in India. The dearth of blood has often led to the insurmountable loss of near and dear ones for many of us. This 17-year-old from Bengaluru is trying to bridge the gap and create a nation-wide blood bank.
What is Khoon
“I lost my teacher, due to lack of blood supply during an emergency. It all started with a donation camp we had organised,” said Chetan Gowda, a B.Tech student and the founder of Khoon. The USP of that camp was, it’s theme based setting. “The entire donation camp was based on the theme of music and we did not adhere to the mundane setting of a couple of beds, doctors, donor cards. This helped us get a massive turnout and collect quite a large amount of blood,” he added.
True to its name, Khoon is a one-year-old organisation that is working towards arranging for blood when all blood banks and other sources cannot solve the crisis. The organisation started with a few volunteers and now it has spread its wings across eleven cities in India and a new chapter is going to be launched in Guwahati, on August 28. Khoon is aiming at eradicating the shortage of blood and also creating a database which will be useful to locate donors when the need arises.
Ashoka has selected Chetan for their youth change-makers program called Youth Venture. The venture identifies, supports and integrates the change-makers with new ideas and initiatives by connecting social, business, financial and university leaders to build an “eco-system” of initiatives that solve the fast-growing social needs of the world.
How does it work?
For Khoon, their target donors are youngsters. Chetan firmly believes that youngsters can actually bring about a change in the society and mobilize others as well. He is already in touch with various colleges in the city. Khoon operates on the basis of dedicated volunteers. They have a sturdy bank of donors and volunteers who help in manually maintaining the donor database. The first blood donation camp was organised by under-eighteen youngsters and this donation drive saw a staggering number of 264 donors.
“We try to make the donation camps attractive for teenagers so that we can push them to come and donate blood,” he said. Bengaluru has a team of fifty all time volunteers and a database of six thousand volunteers.
“We are in constant need of dedicated volunteers but the entire process of taking up volunteers is on the base of screening and training. The ones who are really motivated to work for the cause are taken up and later they help in the expansion of Khoon by opening chapters in their respective areas,” said Chetan. The volunteers are taught how to handle a helpline, what to do when something unforeseen happens in a blood donation camp or how to handle the crowd.
“In spite of having more than two hundred organisations working nation-wide in the context of blood donation, why isn’t the blood requirement getting fulfilled? There is an organisation in every city which is working for blood donation and is aiming at mitigating the scarcity. These are the answers which we are trying to seek and problems we are trying to address,” Chetan added.
When The Logical Indian asked about the challenges that Chetan faces on a regular basis, he said, “The primary challenge has always been to convince elders that a group of dedicated and driven youngsters, who are below the age of eighteen can actually organise a blood donation camp by following all the safety procedures.” With time, Khoon is organising successful blood donation camps.
It works on a qualitative approach rather than an expansion-based quantitative one. Till date, Khoon has handled over 600 cases and helped the patients emerge out of critical medical situations. This organisation has operated on a meagre fund of Rs. 2,500 and is completely driven by motivated youngsters who are dedicated to bringing a change in the society.
On asking for a message for the readers of The Logical Indian, Chetan said, “The onus to bring about the desired change in the society lies upon youngsters us. If you are starting very young in a particular field, a lot of people will surely try to bring you down and bury you. You need to be the sapling which emerges with new life even after being buried deep in mud.”
The Logical Indian community applauds the efforts which Chetan has taken up at such a young age.
Click here to know more about Khoon
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