Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram: Thanks to a relentless campaign by various organisations, the number of voluntary blood donors in the state has witnessed a sharp increase over the years. But this increase serves no purpose unless it is backed up by an information service to link the donors to those in need in the shortest time possible.

A group of seven youth, all of them alumni of the Mohandas College of Engineering and Technology, have embarked on an initiative to set up such a service. Named MobAlive, the service was started as a project under the Technology Incubation Cell of the college.

MobAlive involves the use of mobile telephony to provide the crucial link between the donor and the needy. All you have to do is send an SMS.

Donors can register themselves by sending a message containing their name, blood group and district to the mobile number 9447888444. Medical emergency cases requiring blood can contact the mobile number 9446351010. Once the information is received, MobAlive will alert its registered volunteers and arrange blood from any one of them.

The service has been functional for the last month. According to N.P. Nishad, director, MobAlive, about 50 patients in urgent need of blood have already benefited from the service. “As many as 8,000 voluntary blood donors have registered themselves and the number is swelling. The volunteers include students, professionals, business people and housewives”.

Mr. Nishad said MobAlive was designed to kindle social commitment in youth and demonstrate how technology could be used for the betterment of society.

MobAlive is supported by Terumo Penpol, State Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Federal Bank, Nehru Yuva Kendra, Mohanlal Fans Association and National Service Scheme.

The promoters have plans to extend the services of MobAlive to other areas like education, entertainment and marketing. The proposals on the anvil include SMS alerts for the last date for payment of examination fee to the introduction of a new product in the market.