21,000-km walk for blood donation awareness

Kiran Verma started his walk from Thiruvananthapuram on Dec. 28

Updated - January 12, 2022 11:28 pm IST

Published - January 12, 2022 09:58 pm IST - Thrissur

Kiran Verma, who runs Simply Blood, a virtual blood donation platform, is on a mission to create awareness about the importance of donating blood.

Kiran started his 21,000-km walk across the nation from Thiruvananthapuram on December 28 to create awareness about blood donation so that “nobody should die waiting for blood in India after December 31, 2025”.

In December, 2016 Kiran got a call that a poor family from Raipur, Chhattisgarh, needed blood. After donating blood, he went to meet the family. He realised that the man who called him sold the blood to the family for ₹1,500 and also that the woman who paid for the blood took to prostitution to pay the medical bills of her husband. This prompted Kiran to start Simply Blood.

There are many such incidents. “I donated blood to a 14-year-old boy Mayank in June, 2016. He was suffering from cancer. In August, I got a call from his father that Mayank was no more. The day he died he didn’t get a platelet donor. Delhi has about two crore people. Not a single person came forward to donate blood for him,” he says.

This walk is meant to be the “longest blood awareness campaign ever by an individual” and will run for over two years.

He has covered Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam, and Thrissur so far. He will be soon entering Tamil Nadu.

“Every day, over 12,000 people fail to get blood in India. More than three million had died waiting for blood. If five million youth start donating blood, there will be not even a single death due to non-availability of blood in India.”

Kiran, a social worker based in Delhi, is the founder of Change With One Foundation, under which he runs two programmes — Simply Blood and Change With One Meal.

In 2018, Kiran travelled 16,000 km across India, covering more than 6,000 km on foot, raising awareness on blood donation. Simply Blood connects blood donors and seekers real time without charging anything. Launched in January 2017, it had till date saved more than 35,000 lives through blood donation.

“Change With One Meal is an initiative in which unlimited meals will be served for ₹10 in Delhi. We have served more than 4,00,000 meals in the last one year,” he says.

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