In developing countries, most blood donors are unpaid volunteers who do so for the good of the community. They may also donate blood for their own future use, or to fulfill the deficit created due to the use of previously stored blood. Generally people are either hesitant to donate blood or are un concerned about it. In such a scenario it is difficult to believe that someone exists, who can even think of donating blood more than 50 times.
Meet Sharad Kumre, a 42-year-old man from Hoshangabad Madhya Pradesh who has donated blood more than 50 times, and has organized over 90 blood donation camps in the last two years. Sharad is also an environmentalist who carries out plantation drives in the remote villages of Madhya Pradesh. He gifts plants to all donors. He also runs an eco-friendly petrol pump that works completely on solar energy. This eco crusader also carries out plantation drives in remote villages of Madhya Pradesh.
From blood donation to planting trees, Sharad Kumre is a man of inspiration. He has not only saved many lives by donating his blood but also created new ones by planting trees.”Organizing blood donation camps is a mission for me because my sister died while fighting with the terrorists in 2001. She shot down four terrorists. One of my nephews also died due to scarcity of blood. These incidents motivated me,” he said. Kumre first donated blood to his father at the age of 17. During the 1993 Mumbai riots, he organized his first blood donation camp for the victims. “There is a need to establish harmony in the society. Instead of killing each other, we should donate our blood and give him a new lease of life,” he said.
Blood donation is something that we all want to do but never get around to it either due to fear, or a number of myths surrounding it. Some people feel that their health will deteriorate after donating blood; they will feel weakness and need rest. Sharad clarified,” donating blood reduces your chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, and prevents excess iron from accumulating in the body. You can resume work almost immediately after donating blood. However, you need to drink at least 10 -12 glasses of water and/or other liquids within 24 hours following blood donation. Avoid driving, prolonged exposure to the sun or smoking for three to four hours to be on the safe side.”
There is a wide spread myth, that donating blood causes deficiency of blood. “Donating blood will not result in a deficiency of blood. Blood volume returns to normal levels within 48 hours after blood donation. A healthy individual with good eating habits can donate blood four times a year with a gap of three months “says Sharad with a smile which exudes confidence. When asked whether people having high blood pressure can donate blood? Sharad replied” as long the blood pressure is below 180 systolic and 100 diastolic at the time of your donation, you may give blood. Medications that you take for high blood pressure do not disqualify you from donating blood”
Some people feel they are too old to donate blood. “There is no longer an upper age limit for donation. As long as the prior medical examination shows that you are fit and healthy, you can donate blood” explained Sharad. People having common blood group feel that there is no need to donate blood, as it will only add to the surplus. “This is not true, because there is a constant demand of blood of all groups. Major surgeries, trauma etc require large amounts of blood. If your blood group is common, it means that there would be more number of people in need of your blood type “adds Sharad.
. “I have motivated many people to donate blood. Those who feared earlier now come and ask me, when the camp will be organized. There is a fear which has to be overpowered. Once we donate blood, the fear goes away,” Kumre said.