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To help search for donors, two Puneites create WhatsApp forums for each blood group

The WhatsApp groups are allotted to each blood group and the duo had to come up with 11 of them as there were too many donors for some blood groups.

Written by AKASH GULANKAR | Pune |
January 8, 2017 12:50:08 am
blood donation, blood donation pune, blood donation pune whatsapp group, whatsapp group by blood group, blood donors in pune, pune health news, pune news “One WhatsApp group can have a maximum of 256 members, so one online group for each blood group means as many as 256 donors can get a message at the same time during emergencies.”

IF YOU’RE stuck in an emergency situation and need a blood donor, now you may not have to call up your friends and relatives frantically. For, two Puneites have created groups of blood donors on WhatsApp for the ease of those in medical emergency. The WhatsApp groups are allotted to each blood group and the duo had to come up with 11 of them as there were too many donors for some blood groups. They coordinated nearly 10 donations per week. The two Puneites — Mahesh Mandhare and Abhay Chimbalkar — came up with the group after Mandhare faced a tough time arranging blood for his wife.

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“My wife was in need of blood and I know what I had to go through to arrange it. It was a horrible experience. I wanted to do something about it but not the usual thing. While donor blood registries exist, not many of them can be contacted during emergencies. Also, it is not possible to make so many calls,” said Mandhare.

This is what led the Maharshi Nagar resident team up with his friend, Abhay Chimbalkar, to harness the power of social media for the cause. “We decided to create a WhatsApp Group. We realised there were some people in Nashik and Kolhapur who had already started such groups and were taking inspiration from them. Now, we have started the same initiative in the city.

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The idea is simple. One Whatsapp group has a capacity for 256 members, so one group for one blood group means 256 donors can get a message at one time during emergencies. It eliminates the challenge of tracing blood donors of a specific group and making multiple calls in emergencies too,” said Chimbalkar.

Of the 11 Whatsapp groups, the highest number is of O+ve donors. The rare O-ve blood group has 219 donors while AB-ve has least number with 94 registered members. “After forming these groups, we realised that donors for positive blood groups are easily available. So we also started maintaining the database of negative blood group’s blood donors who don’t want to be on Whatsapp” added Mandhare.

And the groups have already started helping out people in need. Arun Barve, a resident of Karve Nagar, who managed to get blood for his brother through this group, said “We sent messages on our Whatsapp groups and we came to know about these groups. I managed to get 13 bottles of B +ve blood within a week. It really helped us.” said Chimbalkar.

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First published on: 08-01-2017 at 12:50:08 am

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