“Only about 40 to 50 per cent of Indians can send a text message but everyone these days knows how to make a call,” reasons Khushroo Poacha, who started Indianblooddonors.com in 2000. Till date, through their website and SMS service, they have reached out to over 60,000 people in need of blood. Poacha decided to launch a number that people can dial into keeping in mind a large majority who have no access to the Internet or cannot send text messages.
“There were many people who would call on the number that was launched for the SMS service. Even patients who were lying on beds would try to call on that number. I then realised that a lot of people are more comfortable calling than texting, that’s why we decided to set up this service,” informs Poacha.
How it works
When you dial the number, a recorded message gives you the option to choose between Hindi and English and once you choose your language, you are guided through a few recorded messages that enable you to select the blood group you require and get the contact number of a donor. Simultaneously, the donor also gets a message that informs him/her that you will be getting in touch, shortly. For every call you make you get the contact details of one donor. “One call, one donor,” asserts Poacha. So, if that donor is unable to donate for some reason, you can call once again and you will get another donor’s contact number. The call to this particular number can be made from any mobile or landline.
Poacha points out that Indianblooddonors.com is not an NGO; it works on a no-funds model. They do not accept money or donations. They only want an increasingly number of people to register with them as donors: “Even for this venture, a free line was given to us by an Ahmedabad based company called Awaaz de. We are functioning for 12 years without a revenue model — this is what I wish to highlight. To do good work, one does not need money,” adds Poacha. He has plans to introduce the dial for blood service in regional languages as well. “I also intend to launch a mobile app on blood donation for android users,” he reveals.