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Blood Donor Day: Meet Delhi Man Who Is Walking 21,000 Km to Raise Awareness

Kiran Verma has embarked upon a two year an 21,000 km long walk to raise awareness about blood donation.

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A Delhi-based social worker has embarked upon a two year long journey to complete a 21,000 km walk to raise awareness about blood donation across India.

Kiran Verma started Simply Blood, the world’s first virtual blood donation platform, to help blood donators and seekers connect in real time.

Till date, his platform has saved more than 35,000 lives.

Where It All Began

"In December 2016, I gave blood at a hospital after receiving a distress call from a stranger. It wasn't until I met the recipient's family that I discovered the blood had been sold to a poor Chhattisgarh patient whose wife had paid Rs 1,500 for it."
Kiran Verma to SeePositive
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Because of poverty and the recent demonetisation, the woman was forced into prostitution to cover her husband's medical expenditures.

That one moment was life-changing for Verma, who quit his job as a marketing professional the very next day and decided to work towards establishing open access to donated blood.

In June 2017, another incident strengthened his resolve towards this cause. Verma donated blood to a young patient from Uttar Pradesh's Rampur.

“I clicked a few pictures with him, made a small video. Two months later, his father contacted me for the same photographs. When I asked what happened, he informed me that Mayank had passed away due to lack of platelets and that those were his last photographs.”
Kiran Verma to Hindustan Times

The 21,000 Km Walk

This is not the first time that Verma has embarked on a walk to spread awareness about blood donation. He did that in 2018 too, completing 16,000 km, unable to meet his goal.

During Covid-19, Verma would receive several calls a day for blood. The overwhelming number of deaths and guilt of not finishing the walk weighed on him enough to make him try again.

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 “On the first day of my walk, my wife told me ‘either do or die, but don’t come back until you complete your mission’.”
Kiran Verma to Hindustan Times
Verma began his 21,000 km walk on World Blood Donor Day in 2021. So far, he has covered 12 states and 169 districts across India and Bangladesh.  

Through his walk, he has been able to organise 75 blood donation camps, collecting 12,908 units of blood with help from over 3,000 individuals.

“India needs about 15 million units of blood annually and we get around 10-11 million blood units. To overcome this shortage of 4-5 million average blood units, awareness on blood donation among people should be created. Around 73 districts either lack functional blood banks or devoid of donors.”
Kiran Verma to The New Indian Express

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