Six years ago, in December 2016, Kiran Verma was called to donate blood for a poor family from Raipur, Chhattisgarh. However, the blood he volunteered to donate was further sold to the family for Rs.1,500, which Kiran learned after he met the distraught family. Disturbed by the unforsaken lengths the family went to pay the medical bills for the person in need, Kiran decided to begin ‘Simply Blood’, an initiative aimed to encourage people to volunteer for blood donation.
Simply Blood is the world’s first virtual blood donation platform that provides last-mile support through its app and other upcoming technologies. The initiative connects blood donors to seekers in real time without charging a fee in return.
He quit his job to ensure that “nobody should die because of lack of blood in the country by 2025”. The 37-year-old from Delhi, started his walk from Thiruvananthapuram on December 28, 2021, on a mission to walk 21,000 Kms across India. So far, he has walked 7,600 Kms in 107 districts. To date, Kiran’s organization has saved more than 65,000+ lives through ‘Simply Blood’. His aim is to walk across all capital cities across all states of the country and finish his walk by 2024 in the national capital of India.
“There is huge black-marketing of blood in India. This harsh reality came to my notice when my own blood was sold to a poor family. Since 2017, I am walking to create awareness on blood donation. Many people are not coming forward to donate blood simply because they or their family members have never faced the problem of getting blood,” explained Mr. Kiran, speaking to The Hindu.
“As a society, we have collectively failed to develop the culture of blood donation. We can see, after COVID regulations were relaxed, people standing in long queues before liquor shops, not at blood donation centres,” he added, explaining that the country needs 1.5 crore units of blood annually while only 1-1.2 crore units of blood are being collected. So far, Kiran has managed to organize 72 blood donation camps to raise awareness and resources.
Apart from Simply Blood, Kiran also started another initiative called Change With One Meal which serves unlimited meals for Rs.10 in Delhi. More than four lakh people have benefitted from this initiative till today.