Mehul Joshi, Shripad Bapat and Shriram Joshi have nothing in common, but they are still bonded by blood. All three of them are regular blood donors and for them life of a human matters the most. They were invited by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to share a platform and to raise awareness about blood donation prior to World Blood Donor Day, which is celebrated on June 14 every year.
Mehul has donated blood for 68 times and platelets for 154 times. He said, “In 1983, I donated in for the first time because a friend had requested me. Then, I started donating platelets. I realised that it is the greatest service one can offer for humanity. I never think about think about my time. For me patient’s need is more important. A new lease of life for a human matters the most to me. People should come forward and donate blood without waiting for emergency.” He has made blood donation his passion and also has organised over 40 blood donation camps so far in residential societies and corporate offices.
Similar sentiments were echoed by 50-year-old Sanjay Bapat, an entrepreneur who has donated blood 56 times and platelets 218 times in his life. “I’d never ask to whom my blood or platelets are being given. Saving life is more important for me. I want to inform people that there is no loss in donating blood. A person gets good health because of your gesture. So, I request people to donate blood regularly. It keeps you fit and healthy,” said Sanjay.
Thirty-five-year-old Sriram Joshi is also active in raising awareness amongst people to donate blood. He has donated blood for 22 times and platelets for 70 times.
On the occasion of World Blood Donor Day, a blood donation camp will be organized in KEM Hospital, Mumbai by Jivandayi organisation. BMC’s Executive Health Officer, Dr Padmaja Keskar, has urged Mumbaikars to come forward and donate blood to avoid scarcity of blood in the city. “We cannot manufacture blood in laboratory. So, humans have to come forward for humanity to save life by donating blood. Healthy people should initiate and motivate others as well,” Dr Keskar said.
Sometimes blood banks and hospitals face blood scarcity. Especially in summer months, such situation is experienced when due to vacations schools and colleges are shut and people go out for tours.
Dr Avinash Supe, Director, major civic hospitals have also highlighted this issue and urged citizens to not wait for an emergency. “Many times people have this attitude that we will donate blood in case of emergency, but they need to understand that a lot of processing has to be done before donated blood can be given to patient. So it is important to keep blood units on the shelves of blood banks. Also, there is optimum utilization of blood. We extract other components out of it which can be used for other patients too,” added Dr Supe.