For 2021, the World Blood Donor Day slogan is “Give blood and keep the world beating”. It focuses on the essential contribution blood donors make to keeping the world pulsating by saving lives and improving others’ health. 'Kamla Arora Blessings' foundation is one such organisation that has been facilitating and promoting blood donation pan-India for the past 3 years.
This foundation has been founded by two sisters Bhawna Arora & Anualag Arora in the loving memory of their late mother Kamla Arora. Bhawna, who herself is a donor, said that she realised the importance of blood donation when her mother got diagnosed with Vasculitis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of blood vessels.
She said that her mother received help from unknown people who inspired her to start 'Kamla Arora Blessings' foundation to bridge the gap between the donors and the patients who need blood.
Bhawna shares that she is blessed to serve and she could establish the foundation with all the values her parents have inculcated in her. The foundation works closely with the community, blood banks, hospitals, non-government and government bodies to facilitate the process of blood donation and to reach out to those in need.
The foundation has saved thousands of patients to meet the requirement of plasma, platelets, beta cells, white blood cells and blood for their treatment. Forty-year-old Bhawna is a philanthropist and entrepreneur contributing to numerous charity organisations in the UK and India. She has been conferred with honors by various charity and corporate organisations; Rotary Blood Bank, Rotary Eye Care Centre (Delhi), Artemis Hospitals Gurgaon, Fortis Hospitals to name a few.
She has learnt the value of giving from her parents who have been the epitome of a “true giver” and have lived their lives in serving humanity.
Sharing her challenges, founder Bhawna says, "In India, the main issue is of communication and coordination, organisations have started competing, instead of serving the people in need. Volunteers who donate are divided by the organisations.”
Further she said that we must save lives with the feeling of togetherness, and when it comes to donating blood, we must develop a channelised system that should include the community people as well.
Explaining how her organisation works, Bhawna said, "We focus on settling down the panic by giving the family member an assurance. We guide them and ask for the patient details which includes the blood group, disease, name of the hospital and the contact details along with the number of units required. This information is then passed on to the various volunteer groups and blood banks. The donors and the patient in need are kept in a closed net till the donation takes place safely and the patient gets the help. After this, the organisation makes sure to take the feedback.”
Bhawna said that we work to motivate people to donate blood. Apart from spreading awareness, we try to help people with the right counselling targeting their fear factors and answering their questions.
She shares the struggle that 'Kamla Arora Blessings' had undergone during the pandemic. Bhawna said that the team got calls everyday and they could reach out to more than 4,000 people who needed convalescent plasma, the organisation got affiliated with an MNC to extract the data of covid recovered patients to reach out to them and convince them to donate blood to save lives.
Bhawna highlighted how the pandemic affected the process of blood donation. The problem was not just restricted to plasma donation but there was a scarcity of blood and its components.
In such a situation, they had to ensure the safety of the donor and counsel them to extinguish their fears, the foundation provided the donors with a PPE kit for them to donate blood safely.
Vivek Jain, a volunteer of the 'Kamla Arora Blessings' foundation shared three key factors on which the organisation runs these included time management, communication and response. He said donors and their families are angels for us!
Jain said that their first priority has always been the health of the donor. If a donor proves to be eligible for blood donation in case of an emergency they stay in touch with both the patient and the donor. The team ensures the pick up and drop. They also take care about the donor’s diet and perform regular follow-ups. He says that the foundation adheres to the centralised guidelines of World Health Organisation and the Red Cross society.
“Blood donation costs you nothing, but it can mean the world to someone in need". We all must come together and donate blood to be a responsible citizen and to serve humanity.