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Now, donating and receiving blood is just an SMS away
Deepa Suryanarayan
Thursday, February 21, 2008  03:41 IST

Need blood urgently? Just send an SMS and a willing donor will land at your doorstep.

Thanks to a newly-activated service run by Nagpur-based Khushroo Poacha, who also runs e-social service website indianblooddonors.com, getting a unit of blood is just an SMS away.

"It doesn't matter where you are, a donor will come to the hospital nearest to you to offer his blood. And there is no money involved," said Poacha, who launched the SMS service on Sunday.

Recently, when Rajesh Jasani was asked to arrange five bottles of O- blood in preparation for his father's bypass surgery, Poacha's helpline (5676775) came to the rescue.

"I was really worried when the hospital authorities told me O- is a rare group, which is often out of stock. I sent an SMS, and received the donor's contact info within a minute," said Jasani, who managed to contact five donors in just a day. 

It all started eight years ago, when Nagpur-based Khushroo Poacha set up indianblooddonors.com. Poacha says he found his "true calling" after seeing harried relatives of patients running around trying to arrange for blood.

The website now has contact information of over 45,000 blood donors from across the country.

But Poacha was still not happy with the results. At an IIM meet where he was invited to give a talk on social entrepreneurship, students raised two simple issues that set Poacha thinking. "One, the Internet is not accessible to everyone. Two, sustainability without funding," said Poacha, who then came up with the idea of the SMS helpline.

How does it work?

When patient needs blood, he has to send an SMS to 5676775 in the format:

Type "Blood<space>STD Code<space>Blood Group<space>Name

The patient will get a donor's name with his contacts details.

Simultaneously an SMS will be triggered by the system and an alert will be sent to the donor with details of the patient for co-ordination.

Donors can register by sending an SMS to 5676775 in the format: Donor<space>City STD Code <space>Blood Group<space>Name.

s_deepa@dnaindia.net

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