Quite often we receive a SMS or a desperate call from family or friends which leaves us feeling helpless and anxious as the call is for donating blood and the blood group does not match ours. It is at times like these that one should contact Indian Blood Donors, which is providing yeoman service in supplying blood all over the country.
Their advertisement says “Indianblooddonors.com is an address that can save your Life.” From Adilabad to Yamuna Nagar, from the most common blood group to the rarest, the site has a huge database of blood donors. So if you need blood, it’s a good place to turn to. It’s simple. It’s effective. It’s free. It can match you with a donor near you in minutes. And you can save the life of a loved one. You can also register as a blood donor at the site and save the life of someone else’s loved one. Pass the message. And let’s build a community that cares! SMS Now! A Life Depends on it.
Indian Blood Donors motto is: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” If u Need Blood Donors, just SMS. SMS DONOR (STD Code) (Blood Group) to +91 9665500000. You will get one donors number and his/her name on your mobile. Your Number will also be Smsed to the Donor. Once you get the Donors name and number. Call the donor with all the details of the blood Donation. Then SMS again you will get another donors profile. Before you SMS you should know the Blood Group you need.
IBD is the brain child of Khushroo Poacha. Poacha runs indianblooddonors.com (IBD), a site that lets blood donors and patients in need of blood connect with each other almost instantaneously. He recounts how it all started. “It was the month of September 1994; my grandmother had a fall and went into coma. She was admitted into Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur. One day, there was a huge commotion and relatives of a patient were beating up the resident doctor in the ward. On enquiring from one of them he told me “he has killed my wife”. I asked the doctor as to what had happened. He told me that he had asked the patients relatives to arrange for 2 units of blood as the lady’s Hemoglobin count was very low. They could not arrange for donors and hence the transfusion could not be done and the patient passed away due to a cardiac arrest. This incident left a huge impact on me.”
Another incident in 1999 where a patient needed O negative blood passed away, disturbed Mr Poacha tremendously. He says, “This got me thinking as to what must be happening to patients who go from one city to another city for treatment, where they have no one to help them. What must be happening to patients who suffer from cancer and need a lot of blood transfusion? What must be happening to children who suffer from sickle cell and blood disorders, which need frequent blood transfusions every month?
I told my wife Fermin that we had to do something about this. A solution has to be found to solve this problem. But how it could be done we did not know. We resolved that we would surely do something.”
“1999 was the year of the dotcom era. I realized that I would use the power of the internet where I would bring the Patient and the Donor together. I would make a website which would be a link between a patient and the donors. I call it the “Eureka” moment as
http://www.Indianblooddonors.com is born.”
“We had to now book a domain. I started searching for a name. We wanted a name which would identify with the people of India. We decided to name the site http://www.indianblooddonors.com/ . I was told to book the domain on http://www.networksolutions.com/ . We now needed a host where our website could be hosted. I was told to host the site at http://www.interland.com/ In January 2000 our website was ready. In a span of almost 1 year we had put in Rs 60,000 to start and run the site. Every month I was looking at huge telephone bills. In those days we had dial up connections. When we used to connect to the net we had to pay the Phone Bills as well as Internet usage bills.”
“Coming from a middle class family and a government job I did not have a lot of saving. I had put in all I had into the site. I was afraid of telling Fermin my wife that I would withdraw money from my Provident fund. I did not know how but I had to carry on. I was in a complete financial mess. Thanks to Fermin’s backing and my Mothers word ‘Jiska koi nahi uska Khuda hai’ (‘When there is nobody to help you God is there.’).
The site has been live for almost ten years and with over 50,000 donors in its database, IBD is perhaps a classic example of what the Internet is truly capable of. But more importantly, it is a reflection of a single human being’s desire to make a difference to this world. Realizing the difference he had made, Khushroo started working on getting visibility again. After the Gujarat Earthquake, Poacha had contacted every major magazine and sure enough, a few responded. “Outlook magazine wrote about me, then (British newspaper) The Guardian followed suit and then came the BBC,” he says.
Along the way, IBD had also gone mobile. All you had to do was type out a message and send it to a short code and you’d have a list of blood donors in your inbox.
The IBD functions as individuals. Poacha says, “I was asked to deliver a lecture at IIM during a social entrepreneurship seminar and was asked what my sustenance model was. I replied I didn’t have one. And I have been doing this for the last ten years.” Today, the database of IBD is growing at the rate of 10-15 users every day and the requests have grown from 25 to 40 per day. He points out that Mother Teresa had no revenue model when she started the Missionaries of Charity. “If you want to do good work, you simply do it.” Individuals have donated blood and cash. One caring couple, Lyn and Cassandra Nazarath has even donated all the cash presents received on their silver anniversary to IBD.
It is fitting that IBD has now won global recognition. The changemakers online community has recently selected IBD as one of the top three innovative solutions for improving healthcare outcomes and Amgen has granted it ten thousand US Dollars to support their initiative. It was this innovative style of using affordable modern technology to help a social cause that fetched them the award. Ashoka’s Changemakers supported by The Amgen Foundation scouted for best solutions that elevate patients’ voices to improve health outcomes globally. Changemakers is a community of action that collaborates on solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social concerns. It takes up one idea at a time, forms partnerships across the globe and finds innovative solutions that make a difference.
The Poachas’ initiative gave them an identity of being a ‘changemaker’. There were 277 contestants from 40 countries. A panel of five judges from all over the world short listed 10 finalists. This was followed by online voting by people from across the world. Finally, the three best ideas – rather the three best social entrepreneurs – were selected winners.
Says Khushroo, “Initially, we did not want to enter the competition because we do not work for awards or recognition. We are rewarded everyday when our donors go out and donate blood for an unknown patient and help the needy.” Poacha plans to utilize the prize money to create awareness about this helpline in each and every hospital, blood “We want to reach every small town and village in the country.”