Himanshu Agarwal, a graduate of 2014 batch, received the convocation award for Excellence in Community Services. Himanshu laid the foundation of Raktarpan – A student’s initiative started by NSS IIT Kanpur, which aims to tackle the grim situation of blood in Kanpur. It works to promote voluntary blood donation and to ensure that no person has to suffer due to shortage of blood. Here is the Raktarpan story, and a message from Himanshu for the IITK junta.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
16 months. 9 blood donation camps. 1000+ units collected. 3000+ lives saved and the best is yet to come.
Everything except studies becomes interesting during mid-sems and end-sems. In one such end-semesters during Nov’12, Raktarpan was conceptualised as a result ofintellectual discussions thatwe had in our wing.. The big question was: how arepeople below the poverty lineable to get blood in dire need?
Sachin (my room-mate) and I stayed back during the semester break and did extensive ground work. The aim was to devise the best method to help the impoverished and marginalised section of the society to get blood in emergency situations.
We did not get surprised to know that Uttar Pradesh faces the maximum blood shortage in our country. According to one TOI report dated Dec 4, 2010 we got to know UP required 19 lacs units of blood but only six lacs units was collected through voluntary blood donation.
Upon proving our worth, we were wholeheartedlyfunded by Golden Jubilee Students’ Gymkhana team and Dr. H.C. Verma, N.S.S. Coordinator. Mr. Verma continues to fund our activities generously till date but regrets that medically he is now unfit to donate blood. So far, we have organized 9 blood donation camps, collected 1000+ blood units and saved 3000+ lives.
It is commonplace scenario that many people are motivated weigh a POR by its popularity rather than its impact. The biggest challenge we faced was to find people genuinely interested and motivated to take Raktarpan to new heights once we leave the campus. It was difficult to find individuals who can overlook the so-called profile factor and are willing to give their invaluable time to an organization which is not so cool but focuses on doing some actual good work. We personally have seen a lot of good ideas being wasted in the frustration of finding good people.
The other challenge we faced was tackling the myths and fears of IITK junta. It was a surprise to see how such afraid people are of needles.
We often criticize many political organizations but do we ever introspect? Are we contributing enough to our society? Does the unlucky and underprivileged section of our society not need more of our time and effort?
Do donate blood at our camps. You will be surprised at how good it feels to donate for a noble cause. We will love to have you guys on board to help us achieve our dream of 100% voluntary blood donation culture. Come and be a part of the revolution by ordinary people, doing ordinary work every day and somehow saving other ordinary lives.
Follow your passion to change the world and you will eventually end up being indispensable in the society! GOOD LUCK.