Kiran Verma, a 33-year old man from Delhi, quit his cushy job as a marketing professional at a private university in Noida in December 2016 to travel across the length and breadth of the country on foot to promote the cause of blood donation.
He decided to do this after he realised that a person he had trusted and donated blood to in the past was actually an agent, who was selling the blood. The agent charged Rs 1,500 per unit of blood.
On January 26 this year, Kiran set out on a journey to sensitise people across the country about the need for blood donation. So far, in his journey, he has covered more than 10 states. And he has travelled over 6,000 kms largely on foot.
His journey has taken him from Udaipur to Vadodara, Sawantwadi to Hubbali, Mysuru to Chennai, Bengaluru to Kanyakumari.
Kiran goes to colleges, universities, corporate offices and other public places to meet people and speak on the cause.
]He reached Thiruvananthapuram on April 18.
âThe aim is that no person should die due to non-availability of blood. I want to encourage at least 1.5 lakh people donate blood by making them understand its relevance and save at least 1 lakh people who otherwise would face a lot of trouble due to the unavailability of donors. As per the data of the National Aids Control Society, 38,000 units of blood are required in the country everyday and more than 12,000 people die because blood isnât available. Blood is something we canât manufacture. The only possible solution is to make more and more people aware of it; making them take a pledge for blood donation,â Kiran says.
Kiran meets 10 people every kilometre he travels and talks to them about the need to donate blood.
In 2017, he started Simply Blood, a virtual platform to donate blood. Through this programme, people have donated blood over 2,000 times to 11 countries.
Kiran himself started donating blood when he turned 18, and has donated blood 40 times.
He is set to go to Kochi next, and then to Bhutan.
He calls his current journey the âfirst phaseâ of his initiative, and said that it will conclude on January 14, 2019.
âI wonât stop after this; I will start the next phase and I am arranging money for that,â he says.