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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014
‘Amazed at the response’
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 02, 2013
First Published: 14:51 IST(2/4/2013)
Last Updated: 14:53 IST(2/4/2013)

The idea of a helpline,  BloodConnect, started when Nitin Garg got a request for blood from a friend. “Going from one hostel door to another, finding donors to help, I was amazed to see such a positive response from all the students. This made me realise that we needed a proper channel for students to participate in such causes and help others. That is when BloodConnect as an online helpline started. Later on we brought about a lot of changes in our model, our plan of action, to tackle the problem of blood shortage. However, it all began for me with a helpline request,” he says.

Utkarsh Kawatra was “roped in” by Garg for the helpline through the NSS wing of IIT Delhi. “We met some experienced people working in the field of blood donation and realised that a helpline is not a permanent solution. The problem of blood shortage in the blood banks is not addressed by a helpline. Need-based emergency demands will automatically end if there is enough blood in the bank. With this thought, we decided to focus on blood donation camps as well. IIT came first and soon other colleges joined in for this cause.

How can such an initiative help?
The founder and co-founder of BloodConnect talk about how students benefit from the movement 
* Making true impact: Before BloodConnect, some colleges did not even organise blood donation camps. Now young people come forward and realise the impact they have. They spend 20 minutes and save three to four lives! 
* Quick helpline: Recently there was a blood request from a college where we organise regular camps. There was a need of quite a lot of blood units and their family could not arrange much. They quickly guided the person needing help to a BloodConnect volunteer who in turn helped them out
* Building relations with other colleges: BloodConnect makes it easier for students from social service/ NSS wings of colleges to coordinate and work on other aspects as well

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