While browsing through the newspaper,every time Kishor Girme comes across an advertisement asking for units of B+ blood,he doesn’t think twice before heading to the hospital mentioned in the newspaper. And even when the needy family insists on expressing their gratitude by giving him some money,Girme categorically refuses. All that he accepts is the travelling expenses from his home to the hospital and back. When I don’t accept anything some families request me to have a meal with them; that I accept, says Girme. A driver by profession,this 54-year-old has donated blood as many as 155 times in the last 30 years.
Whenever I leave the hospital after donating blood,I tell the family to inform me if the patient recuperates well or not. And,when they call and say so,it gives me immense happiness. If I’m able to save someone’s life by simply donating blood then I don’t think I’m doing anything great, says Girme.
A resident of Kasba Peth,Girme has two sons Pavan (22) and Nikhil (20). While Pavan is working at a local jewellery store,Nikhil is a college student. With no permanent job,Girme is able to earn around Rs 4,000 a month,which varies as per the number of driving assignments he receives. His wife Manjula,who works as a cook at around eight households,supports Girme by making sure he eats well before donating blood.
Donating blood has become a way of life for Girme. So much so that even when he doesn’t come across an advertisement,he voluntarily visits a city-based government hospital five times a year,to donate 350ml blood in each visit. I lead a healthy life and feel healthy. Donating blood hasn’t made me weak in any way, explains Girme.
In 2009,exactly a year after 26/11 Mumbai attacks,a blood donation camp was organised in Mumbai in memory of those who died in the disaster. When Girme learned about the camp,he went all the way to Mumbai to join the camp. Even the organiser of the camp was surprised and wondered what made a person from Pune travel to Mumbai to donate blood, he recalls.
For his service,Girme has been felicitated by around 30 organisations from across the state for his deed and his house boasts of various trophies and certificates. Just last year,he received a life-size trophy from Mumbai-based Raktanand Group,Maharashtra.
But donating blood is not where Girme stops. Three years ago,he also registered with an eye bank,pledging to donate his eyes. “My family knows the procedure to follow after my death. They know that within six hours of my death they have to inform the eye bank officials. The file that has the pledge papers is kept safely in my house. says Girme.