NEW DELHI: “I want to be a role model for others to come forward and save lives... It must have been God’s will that he wanted me to do this,” said 36-year-old Tabrez Khan who will be donating his plasma for the seventh time on Wednesday. A resident of Jahangirpuri, Tabrez was also the city’s first plasma donor. He was detected positive for coronavirus back in March after coming in contact with his sister with a travel history. He recovered from the infection on April 5.
On April 20, the survivor first donated his plasma at ILBS. Since then, whenever people have approached him for plasma to treat serious Covid patients and matched with his blood group, he hasn’t hesitated to donate. “Just a few days ago, a family approached me for a senior person whose condition was very critical.
I donated plasma and his condition is better now, his life is saved. The patient’s family hugged me and cried. I could relate to their emotion… their blessings are all that I need,” noted Tabrez. Although he is proud of the fact that his body can still produce antibodies which are helping others, it is the societal stigma that leaves him bothered.
Tabrez stated that over the past few months things have changed. Overtime he became the victim of societal stigma. “Log dekh ke bhi muh mor lete hai…pehle sab chai pe bulate thee aab andekha kar dete hai, dukh hota hai (People turn their faces away when they see me. Earlier neighbours would invite me for evening tea but now they ignore us, it does hurt). At times, he has even been accused for spreading the virus in the city as he is a Muslim.
This stigma stems out of the Tablighi Jamaat incident. “Now they (locals) say that my donation is an act of covering up. I just want this hatred to end. Out of six donations, five had been for Hindu families… Where does religion come in between a pandemic?,” he paused. What also upsets him is no recognition from the Delhi government or the district DM despite donating plasma so many times. “They can at least use my example to seek plasma donations, especially, when people are scared to donate,” he said.