Monday, December 29, 2008

Write up on Friends2Support

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blood donors from various parts of India in one database -

Blood is the need of the hour for many persons most of the times due to various reasons. But can everyone afford to buy it from blood banks when it is required on a regular basis ?

Well I believe its not possible. As a human being we believe in helping others with the best possible way we can. Donating blood is one such social activity if we can afford to do it. Any social cause which is meant for the welfare of the society we live in should be wholeheartedly supported. I came across this website which contains the database of interested donors who volunteer to donate blood

This database contains the list of people who have volunteered to donate blood anytime and can be contacted directly on their phone with a simple search in this website.

Lets find it out with Ramesh Susarla the chief Advisor and founder of this website regarding what motivated him and what it take to maintain this database which is meant for all our needs.

1. What inspired you to start this social cause
Ramesh:Five students of Narsaraopet Engineering College began this website when they got number of calls from people for blood donation frequently. They used to maintain a list of their friends physically to provide information about voluntary donors. Later they thought they could build a website on which they were getting trained. I joined them three months later and my motivation was the suffering we had to undergo for arranging A - ve blood for my aunt at Hyderabad NIMS

She was down with lukemia and at the end she needed almost one unit every three days. I am myself A -ve and donated thrice to her. I used to send pager messages and ask people to contact me at my residence No. and then take them to the blood bank in NIMS during 1998-99.That give me a realistic picture of how grave the situation was. So I also decided to do some social work in this regard by spending some of my salary savings in this form.

2. Do you take any sponsorship ?
Ramesh: we do not take any advertisement or sponsorship from people for this activity

3. Does your group conduct any blood donation camps ?
Ramesh: We do not organise blood donation camps. We are against mega blood donation camps as they lead to wastage of a lot of blood.

4. How does the friendstosupport database work out for the needy?
Ours is only a blood donors information service or you can call it as a registry of Blood Donors all over India with every district and Assembly constituency wise. All the 17 blood groups including sub-groups are divided for the sake of voluntary donors contact information like normal address, e-mail address, contact phone Nos. age sex etc. Our database works as a catalyst between the needy and the search for a donor becomes very easy for the needy and we have created a platform for both of them to come together.

5. How do you spread the information about this database to the common man ?
Ramesh: we do not have any ground level organisation. But only volunteers like you who wish to spread the concept and help people get helped in case of need. we only organise awareness camps and programmes to help poeple know that such a facility is available and that they could register themselves as Voluntary donors to help others.

Recently we organised essay competition online and elocution competition for college students of Acharya Nagarjuna University and on December 1st 2008 we are organising one for all Pharmacy students.

6. How long has this journey been since you started this cause ?
We completed 3 years on November 14, 2008. We are also supporting six meritorious poor students in their studies with our own funds.

7.How do you raise funds for maintaining this database ?
We pool up money from among the core group of seven members from our own salary savings. we do not take up any fund-raising exercise - that is our first principle.

8. Who maintains website and organizes events ?
Ramesh: Web hosting, designing is done by our own members who are good at it and designing the events and organizing them is done by me. I also keep writing pamphlets or other literature for spreading awareness. We also got National Award "Manthan Award' for best Website using digital information for development of society from Department of Information Technology Government of India and UNDP During November 2007.

We have volunteer groups in Pune, Bangalore, Dlehi and Chennai who also keep organizing some program or other even at Hyderabad.

9. Do you guys work full time for this or its time dedicated after the individual professions ?
Ramesh: Yes, it is done during our spare time. None of us work full time for this nor do we have any employee for this. We believe in taking all people along with us and they also should get a feeling that it is theirs (F2S) and we do not monopolize on it, but just keep a track of goings on so that it does not wayward or gets misused. Open-end and free information on Blood Donors for entire India is our dream and we desire to end the monopoly of some blood banks or hospital on information of blood donors.

10.What is the average number of people/requests you get through this website for blood ?
We have a database of 60,000 voluntary donors on website and we do not get requests as the needy contacts the donor directly - we are only facilitators and none contacts us in any manner except those who know us personally for a personal favour and we do not take up the service of arranging blood donors for needy it is upto them to contact the donors.

We run a toll-free Telephonic helpline at Guntur 0863-2351725 which is toll-free in AP and at Regular charges from elsewhere in the country.

11. Dont you feel that only maintaining website puts restriction in spreading this info of database as the percentage of people who have access to internet is less ?
This is for those who do not have access to internet at remote places
but all do not need acceess to internet if the hospitals and any relative of the needy or the nursing homes or blood banks where the needy approach as the first choice. If these people have access or can just log into it from a public net cafe, which are available even at a remote village,they can help them like his family circle, immediate bosom friends circle.

They are the people who usually contact us for any kind of help and even we can help them if they are within our reach. So it is the willingness to help people that is more important and not forwarding mails and SMS seeking blood immediately or informing about a need in some corner of the country.I personally encountered some of these where when I contacted the need was over more than six months ago or a minimum of a week.

Well guys we should truly appreciate the efforts of Mr. Ramesh and his team. Lets join our hands in spreading the word and also by directly or indirectly helping the others.

I would say : What can happen to others can happen to you also. Help others and get helped.

For more Information on this database click here
You can also find the FAQ's about this blood donors database in the below link