BENGALURU: Not all superheroes wear capes or fly through the air. In fact, they can be found right here in our community — ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances and making lives better for others. Teenager Chetan fits the bill. Chetan, all of 16, set up Khoon Khas – a non-profit organization which works towards providing blood donors when blood banks and all other sources are exhausted. Also, Khoon Khas is the first blood-donation related NGO to be working in North East.
What inspired this young man to take up such a huge responsibility at this tender age? His favourite teacher’s death. “I saw my teacher die because of non-availability of blood. The entire incident changed me. That was when I decided to come up with Khoon,” says Chetan, the founder, adding, “Red is not a colour of danger. It’s a colour of life.”
“Our country has abundant blood, but people still die of blood shortage. I want to change that,” says the first year Mechanical Engineering student from Bengaluru. “I want to do my Masters in Social Work and get involved in betterment of society,” Chetan says.
Chetan’s parents, though proud of their son’s achievements, want him to concentrate on his studies.
“I hope one fine day they will understand me and my mission,” says Chetan and adds that his two sisters have been the biggest support system to him. “When they read about me and Khoon, they do feel proud of me. But that doesn’t last long. Study and score good marks is their motto,” laughs Chetan.
What began as a word-by-mouth campaign a year ago has now turned into a well-organised network.
Khoon, which started small in September 2016 inside Chetan’s room, is now one of the seven organisations collaborating with Facebook to help locate blood donors and notify them of blood requests.
As of now, they are working in Bengaluru, Delhi and Guwahati.
Charu Agarwal, President of Guwahati Chapter said, “It was launched during Momo Fest, one of the biggest festivals in North East, this August. We did a street play on the day of launch. But the response was very lukewarm. However, with campaigns and social media alerts, we have been able to cater to good number of people. We mostly get many requests for cancer patients. We are hopeful that we will be able to make a difference in peoples’ lives here.”
Chetan recalls one of the emergencies. “Once we got a call at 12.30am for O negative blood for a 2-year-old girl. She is from the US and was here for a surgery. O negative is a very rare blood and we just had a very few donors who were registered for this blood group. Luckily, one of the donors agreed. So by 7 am the next day, we were able to arrange blood. Every second matters in such cases.”