Bengaluru

Altruism flows in his veins

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‘Blood’ Kumar has been championing the cause and dispelling myths about blood donation.

While returning home from school one day in 1981, he heard of the fire at Venus Circus. He rushed to the spot with his brother to help the injured. In the melee, he lost his school bag and was also caned by the police. The next day, he overheard his father telling his mother that many children were dying for want of blood. The incident pushed him to learn all about blood donation and also donate blood. Since then, he has been championing the cause and dispelling myths about blood donation.

As of now, 52-year-old ‘Blood’ Kumar has donated blood 154 times. “When I donated blood for the first time, I was underage. I was scared about blood donation. Later, a doctor helped me understand blood donation better. This inspired me to create awareness about blood donation and I began organising voluntary donation camps across the city,” he says.

Mr. Kumar, who was earlier known as Balan Kumar, says that blood donation is the ultimate service to people, which can even save lives. In 1998, he organised a huge camp and attempted to create a record by getting the maximum number of people to donate blood. “Around 8,000 people donated blood… but it was not recognised by the Guinness Book of Records, as we did not have funds to register. After the event, we learnt that the record was 4,000 people donating blood,” he adds.

He says he faced stiff opposition from his family when he decided to have a blood donation camp at his wedding reception in 2006. “We went ahead with it despite the opposition and 53 people donated blood that day.”

Along with blood donation, he has begun creating awareness about organ donation and breast cancer. After opting for voluntary retirement from his job with the Indian Space Research Organisation, he has been focussing on this and also working with the government on creating awareness about good road behaviour.

“Several awards, including Rajyotsava Award, have come my way… but nothing is more satisfying than knowing that you have helped save someone’s life.”

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Projects he is involved with

Promoting voluntary blood donation

Creating awareness about good road behaviour

Imparting first aid training to school children and teachers

Suggestions for the government

Creating awareness about emergency care and first aid

Enforce laws for traffic violations

Ensure blood group is mentioned in driving licence or Aadhaar card

Suggestions for citizens

Donate blood, save a life

Learn whom to contact in emergencies

Be in touch with local hospital and police station

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 12:12:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/altruism-flows-in-his-veins/article7819433.ece

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