Vishal Aggarwal, 33, left his Vikaspuri home in west Delhi at the crack of dawn on Friday to drive across to Apollo Hospital to save a life. He isn't a doctor on call, but a man taking out time and money to save a stranger's life by donating blood.
That it happened on 'Blood Donor Day' was a coincidence. "I got a call from Red Cross that an AB positive donor was needed early next morning, so I immediately called the family and offered help ," said Aggarwal.
"If somebody's life can be saved, then nothing like it. This is the fifth time that I've donated blood," added Aggarwal, who runs a jewellery business in Karol Bagh.
Virender Singh Negi, 39, a resident of Noida, another volunteer donor, donates blood on the birthdays of his two sons. "It is said that a person can save three lives. It feels nice if you can save a life by donating blood," said Negi, who also shows up when he gets an SOS call.
A restaurant manager by profession, Negi has lived in the Bermuda Island for almost seven years (2000-2007) and he started donating blood on his birthday in 2002. "I used to donate blood at the Red Cross in Bermuda on my birthday. But after the birth of first child in 2005, I also started giving blood on his birthday. In 2009, my second son was born and since then I have been donating blood on their birthdays," he said.
"We issue 60,000 unit components of blood to government hospitals, private hospitals and thalassemic patients in NCR region annually. There are 1,000 registered thalassemic patients with Red Cross. They are issued 15000-20,000 units of blood annually," said Dr Vanashree, Director Blood Bank, Red Cross Society of India.