After posting a call for blood donors, Gupta was flooded with messages and volunteers and as the second wave worsened in the city with the need for blood donors growing steadily, she and her friends decided to start up the Blood Donor Connect.
“I run a lifestyle page on Instagram, which focuses on health and wellness. I talk about various topics ranging from contraception to COVID. Through my following and that initial post one month ago, we got so many registrations, so we decided to take this up properly. Through our Google Document, people can register as a donor or a requester, and we help verify and connect the two,” said Gupta.
She and about 15 of her friends decided to take this up alongside their medical studies, and soon enough, they were flooded with requests for both patients with and without COVID. Over the last two weeks, students have helped connect about 100 blood donors and recipients for free.
The team’s main focus is verification, in both the request and the donor. Between studying for their classes, the team contacts the donors and requesters. Gupta explains that most donors hesitate to come forward because they think the request is closed.
“We decided to use all of social media to help promote donations. Through my Instagram page, we even got a shout-out from cricketer Suresh Raina. We even made pages on dating apps, clearly stating that we were only here to get blood donors. And it actually worked – we got about 75 donors from online dating apps,” says Gupta.
With the COVID crisis worsening and the State heading for a two-week lockdown, students have doubled their efforts. They recently introduced a plasma donation option for potential volunteers, in case patients need plasma for COVID treatment.
We’ve even had blood banks approach us and ask us to get them in touch with donors. At this time, people aren’t hesitant to help out – but don’t know where to go. We help bridge that gap, and social media is the best place to meet and connect with people at this time. We hope to launch an app soon, and then hopefully expand across the state, ” said Gupta.
To get in touch, visit https://linktr.ee/Blooddonorconnect.