The Hyderabad Blood Donors Society, which Sai Kumar started when he was a graduate student, now has a team of 18 core members and 150 active volunteers across the city.

Members of the Hyderabad Blood Donors SocietyHyderabad Blood Donors Society
Features Human Interest Saturday, August 14, 2021 - 14:28

In 2013, a relative of Sai Kumar’s friend was facing a medical emergency and was in dire need of blood. After checking with the family’s near and dear ones, Sai Kumar, who was a student, made about five calls and was able to arrange for a donor, whose blood saved the patient’s life. "All it took was a couple of calls and we could arrange the blood which saved the precious life of a person," says Sai Kumar, who now runs the youth-led Hyderabad Blood Donors Society, which has facilitated about 20,000 blood and plasma donations in the last eight years.

The Hyderabad Blood Donors Society, which Sai Kumar started when he was an 18-year-old graduate student, now has a team of 18 core members and a network of 150 volunteers who actively step up to donate blood across the city. Sai, who manages the organisation alongside his main job, says that the Society began to fulfill blood donation needs, but grew with the intention of giving something back to society. According to Sai Kumar, the process of finding a blood donor, especially in a life-or-death situation, can be very stressful. Speaking to the families and giving them a sense of hope is also a key part of the HBDS’s job. 

The HBDS began as a Facebook group with Sai Kumar’s close friends, who volunteered to donate blood themselves if the need arose. However, over the years, their network of volunteers spread across the city. Whenever they receive a request for blood, the core team coordinates with local volunteers, amplifies the requirement via their verified social media accounts, and makes sure that the requirement is fulfilled by staying in touch with the patient’s attendees. HBDS maintains a database of all their blood donors, along with their blood groups and contact numbers. 

The group has also started taking the help of social media influencers to expand the reach of a request, and have also played a critical role in facilitating plasma donations during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While HBDS’s services are completely free and they discourage paid blood donations, they have found many instances of cyber fraud being conducted in their name. 

"People are collecting money in the name of blood donation and they are using our name. Despite approaching the cyber crime police, there was nothing much done on this issue as it is different people trying to misuse the service using various mobile numbers and are targeting those in need," Sai Kumar points out.

He further adds that patient attendees need to be careful and should not transfer any money to the fake accounts. "Many of these people are taking money and are switching off their mobile numbers soon after they receive payment through mobile apps," Sai points out.

The team also has an official website, where one can fill in their requirements and the team members will get back as soon as possible. They can also be reached through their verified handles on Twitter and Instagram, or their Facebook group. 

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