Today, Ram Bangad is a retired employee of Bank of Maharashtra, and runs a voluntary group named ‘Raktache Nate’ which has 50,000 volunteers attached to it. Be it any kind of emergency, his group arranges blood in many parts of Maharashtra. Now, they have started the movement for ‘free supply of blood for the poor.’
He has donated his platelets for 20 times, and he is planning to achieve the number of donations as 200 in future.
“I saw a girl who died because the hospital did not have blood. I was then working in Bank of Maharashtra. I convinced two labour unions of the bank to start arranging blood donation camps. I then started working on awareness. In those days, it was difficult to make blood available as landlines were not in all houses, and awareness was low. I, along with some of my friends, then started pasting handwritten awareness banners and posters at public places in Pune,” said Bangad.
He then officially started a group named ‘Raktache Nate’ in 2002. He laughs and says that he knows many people not by their names today, but by their blood groups. He has been instrumental in forming a group if regular blood donors and saving the lives of many people. They arrange four major blood donation camps in Pune every year.
“Single Donor Platelet’s (SDP) availability is not sufficient in Pune. Also, the facility for SDP donations is not available in state government’s hospital like Sassoon. We request them to make it available. Also, SDP is not affordable for poor people. We now want the government to make it affordable. At least 10 per cent off SDP donations and blood donations should be made free for poor,” he added.