The man who walked to raise awareness about blood donation

Blood donation is a serious issue in India, firstly because of lack of sufficient blood donors in India despite having a population of more than 1.3 billion people, and secondly, because of the commercialisation and trading of blood. Lack of awareness around blood donation is another aspect that prevents people from donating blood. To raise awareness for this very cause so that nobody else dies due to shortage of blood, Delhi-based social entrepreneur, Kiran Verma, has founded Simply Blood App, which is the World’s First Virtual Blood Donation Platform. It is an initiative of Change With One Foundation.

Kiran Verma is on a mission to walk across India and cover 15,000 km to spread awareness about blood donation. His mission is to encourage at least 10 people every km, to ensure that after traveling 15,000 km, at least 1,50,000 people get ready to donate blood. Even if they donate blood only once in their lifetime, then this walk will save at least 1,50,000 potential lives. The walk is on a completely voluntary basis to encourage blood donation across India, Nepal and Bhutan. He has named the walk  “Change With One Walk”.

He started his journey on 26th Jan 2018 from Lal Chowk, Srinagar and till now has travelled more than 15,500 km, covering more than 4300 km on foot. The rest of the distance was covered using different means of transportation (occasionally hitchhiking on the highway as it’s not safe and sparsely populated) in the last 4 months.

So far he has shared his message with more than 5,00,000 people across Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Delhi. He has been sharing his vision with students in different colleges, universities, public places like malls, restaurants, railway stations, bus stands and wherever else possible. He is going to travel the remaining states and union territories from 15 June 2018, after undertaking a few campaigns on World Blood Donor Day on 14 June 2018.

It is often the story behind such initiatives which are inspiring, and in the case of Kiran Verma, it is no different. Kiran lost his mother due to cancer when he was only 7 years old and because of that incident, he got to realise the importance of life. He first donated blood to his teacher during his first year of Diploma (Pusa Polytechnic), in the hope of getting extra marks and praise from his teachers. But after donating blood, upon meeting his teacher’s son, Kiran learnt the impact his act had left on the family, who were not just thankful but also very emotional about his act.. After that, he became a regular blood donor and has donated blood 41 times so far.

On 26 Dec 2016, he got a call asking to donate blood for a poor family from Raipur, Chattisgarh. He went to the hospital to donate blood to that family. After donating blood, he went to meet the family and got to know that the person who called Kiran took Rs.1500 for the blood which he had donated for free. It was hard to digest for him and the same day he left his job and made it his goal that “by 2025, nobody should die because of lack of blood in India”. His life’s mission is to save 1 million potential lives through blood donation by 2020 using Simply Blood platform.

The Simply Blood platform is available globally on Google PlayStore with more than 40,000 registered donors and database of more than 2,00,000 blood donors across the world. Simply Blood doesn’t share any contact details of any blood donor or blood seeker to any third person. It only shares their contact numbers when a donor accepts to donate blood. This process doesn’t allow anyone to misuse or trade blood on the black market. Also, there is no need to call any blood donor and everything happens real-time, which saves the time spent contacting people and the chances of saving a life increase.

As it is said, “Donate your blood for a reason. Let that reason be Life.”, we brought to you the story of Kiran, with a hope that you would understand that it is in our blood to save lives! 🙂