Donate Blood, Donate Life - Kerala man walks from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

This enthusiastic man doesn't bother about where he stays at nights and how long he sleeps. Be it a hostel or an ashram or just a petrol filling station, he doesn't care the place of his night stay. But, he wakes up with sun and sets on his journey. He is Melvin Thomas from Kerala. Where is he heading to? 

 

On 9th October 2021, set on foot from Kanyakumari to Kashmir giving out a message to the nation. "Donate Blood, Donate Life" - the aim of his walk is to spread awareness on the importance of blood donation. In 118 days, he reached Kashmir on foot. 

 

Why? 

 

Melvin observed that during the pandemic, many people lost their lives due to lack of blood availability. Just because blood wasn't arranged at the right time, people had to succumb to death. "Despite its importance, access to adequate, timely, and safe blood continues to be a major public health concern in India", he says. He also goes on to explain how much blood shortage India does have. He puts the facts on the table. "According to the World Health Organization, atleast one percent of the population must donate blood in order for a country's basic blood requirement to be met. In India, just 0.84 percent of the population donates blood voluntarily, resulting in a blood shortage of nearly two million units" - that's indeed blood-stirring, isn't it? Lack of blood could worsen the health condition of the patients with comorbidities. Keeping in mind all of these, this Kerala's film maker set to spread awareness on the significance of blood donation. 

 

The Journey: 

 

With the message, Donate Blood, Donate Life, the feet that started on 9th October 2021 reached Jammu on 3rd February 2022, covering a total of 3800km. Melvin was supported by blood donors and other organisations. While returning, he set on a bicycle covering 80km per day. He is expecting to reach Bangalore on 22nd March 2022 and shall proceed to Mandya on 24th March 2022. A few blood donors on Lions Bloodline of Lions Club of Bangalore Sanjaynagar, Blood Banks and others would meet Melvin tentatively at Lions Bhavan, Sanjaynagar, Bangalore on 23rd March. The walk saw its results when people began donating blood when they came to know his efforts. "I get a lot of messages from people I met along the way. They send me pictures after donating blood and pledge to keep on donating blood in the future" Melvin said.

 

"If I make a decision, I will stick to it no matter what" he mentions. Hats off to Melvin and let's all pledge to donate blood regularly in order to bridge the gap between blood availability and need. We never know who needs to be saved at what moment. Let's come together for this cause. 

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