Meet PL Anand, a blood brother & saviour of masses
Being an ardent advocate of the noble deed, he explains the basics of blood donation at least once a week to college students for whom he takes Mathematics tuition.
CHENNAI: Glaring at the noisy fan spinning above his head, the 53-year-old PL Anand lies down on the hospital bed. Squishing the sponge ball in his hand, Anand looks at the blood being drawn out of his body into the transparent bag and beams with satisfaction.
Bursting myths and breaking stigmas around blood donation, this 53-year-old government employee, a resident of Kodambakkam, has donated blood 93 times so far and is marching towards the century.
Hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Anand first donated blood at the age of 18. Though the stigma around blood donation was much worse back in 1988, the then National Service Scheme cadet decided to join the cause when blood bank authorities asked for volunteers from the college to donate blood. But once he felt the happiness of donating blood, he decided to take it forward.
In the beginning, he voluntarily donated blood once every 90 days. But now, as he gets older, he is doing it only when there is an urgent requirement. “The moment you donate blood for somebody, you become a part of their family. It feels so content,” Anand says.
While his initial aim was to donate blood to 65 people (the years his father lived), he continued to donate as requests kept pouring in. His latest venture was on August 12, and he wishes to continue doing it.
Citing the dire need for more donors in Chennai, especially after the pandemic, Anand says he wants more people to step forward. “Most people do not know whether they are eligible for blood donation. Another issue is fear. Many people fear that they may faint or become weak once they donate blood, which is not the case.” he says.
Being an ardent advocate of the noble deed, he explains the basics of blood donation at least once a week to college students for whom he takes Mathematics tuition. He also tries to motivate every people he meets to donate blood. “Each time we donate blood, we are saving lives. So, we must spread the awareness,” says Anand.
His decades-long venture also has a lot of laughter moments. Sharing one such incident, he says how a leading hospital in Chennai tested his blood before platelet donation and informed him that he was infected with Hepatitis B. “I was shocked and the doctor even started counselling me,” he says. Later, a repeat test proved it wrong. “It was a clerical mistake,” he sighs.