Blood donation is one of the biggest services to mankind. Those who individually donate blood are doing a noble service. However, those who work voluntarily towards meeting the needs of acute blood shortage in our society, are doing service of an even higher order. Medicircle is conducting an exclusive series featuring people who are working towards the social cause of meeting the everyday demands of blood by needy individuals in dire health conditions so that more and more people get inspired towards the cause of blood donation.
Shahnawaz Shaikh is the Co-Founder of Red Boys Foundation which works for the ‘Youth and Community Cause.’’ The organization’s Founder Mr. Zakir Khan founded the NGO with the aim to do good to society. He created a team of like-minded individuals like Shahnawaz and others including Ibrahim Shaikh, Hussian Shaikh, Deepak Upadhyay, Shamin Idrishi, Fazal Sayed, Aijaz Sayed, Owais Shaikh, Farooque Shaikh, Nilofer Jilor, Naseer Nizami, Sameer Shaikh, Irshad Qureshi, and Wasim Shaikh to work with passion and mission. Red Boys Foundation was registered in 2014 and since then the team has been doing good for society.
Red Boys Foundation – how it started working in the area of meeting blood demands
Shahnawaz informs, “Red Boys Foundation was initially a slum-based organization formed by a group of friends hanging around in Mumbai wishing to do something good for the society. They first took baby steps in the social work arena but started garnering attention due to their dedication. A project in the field of education got very successful and gradually they started working towards the betterment of the society in other areas like blood donation as well. A personal setback of the founder of the organization due to blood shortage triggered the group to work in the area of blood shortage and its solution,” says Shahnawaz.
What does Red Boys Foundation do in the sphere of blood donation?
Shahnawaz mentions, “Red Boys Foundation has organized blood donation camps before the pandemic. During the pandemic, no camp has been organized as it would get very crowded. The NGO mostly focuses on Thalassemia patients’ blood requirements. Red Boys Foundation bridges the gap between blood banks and blood donors. It is associated with blood banks like Gandhi blood bank in Bandra West and Samarpan blood bank in Ghatkopar. In the NGO's network, there are regular donors. 4 blood donors for 1 thalassemia patient have been assigned so that they can keep rotating with blood donation every 3 months to meet the demand of such patients.”
Presence of Red Boys Foundation in social media proves to be very helpful
Shahnawaz informs, “We are prominently present on popular social media platforms and connect blood banks with blood donors through through different social media platforms. We send the donors directly to the blood banks and play the role of a bridge between those who can donate blood and the people who require it. We have been working upon the needs of plasma also this way.”
Shahnawaz says, "Through our social media campaigns and by face-to-face interactions, we organize awareness campaigns or initiatives to educate people that it is ok to donate blood at 3-month gaps so that more and more people come forward for blood donation. In the context of COVID, we educate them to always donate blood when they have negative RT-PCR reports and when they are completely healthy. Since our regular blood donors are for thalassemia patients, we make donors aware about suitable health conditions in which they can donate blood to such patients so that there is no health complications later on.”
(Edited by Amrita Priya)