Five students from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Vile Parle, are giving a new dimension to social networking. The group aims at saving lives through an online forum where people can share blood group details, thus making blood donor information easily available in case of emergencies.
The website, Bloody Friends (which stands for Blood, You and Friends), was launched on Saturday on the occasion of World Health Day. People across the country can register on www.bloodyfriends.com and invite friends to share blood group and contact details.
“Several websites that give blood donor detail have outdated information. During emergencies, when blood is direly needed, such a social networking group can ease the process of finding the right blood donors,” said Nitin Dhawal, who, along with Amit Bharadwaj, Jay Joshi, and Srivatsan Bhaskaran and Gaurav Singh launched the initiative.
The objective of the forum is to make search for donors simpler and faster by letting you know which of your online friends belong to the required blood group and are within your locality.
The website lets people post requests for blood donors even if they have not registered. As of now, about 40 people, mostly students from NMIMS, have registered.
The initiative has received some criticism, too. “This website reinforces the notion that it is the responsibility of the patient and his family to look for blood donors,” said Vinay Shetty, vice president, Think Foundation, a not-for-profit that works with thalassaemia patients. “Most hospitals today are blatantly violating the National Blood Policy which makes it the hospital’s prerogative to arrange for blood through blood banks.”
“We do believe that blood banks are the best source for blood, but the policy has failed since there is little inter-connectivity between hospitals and blood banks,” said Dhawal.