15,000 km and continuing, man walks for a cause

Vijayawada: Wearing a white T-shirt and with the national flag over his shoulders, 33-year-old Kiran Verma from New Delhi is working towards creating awareness among people about the importance of blood donation. Kiran’s approach to realize his dream is as much adventurous as arduous. On January 26, Kiran started off from Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir with a motive to walk across India and reach New Delhi by June 14 so that he can participate in a convention to mark the World Blood Donors Day.
As part of his all-India tour, Kiran, a Class X dropout, reached Vijayawada on April 23 from Tirupati where he talked to people from different walks of life about the essence of blood donation and how big a difference it could make for a patient.
“The idea of my journey is to sensitize people, which is my way to give back to the society by encouraging others to donate blood. My target is to meet 10 people in each lap of 15 km of my walks,” he says. Kiran lost his mother to cancer at the age of seven. He donated blood for the first time to his teacher who was suffering from kidney ailments and has donated 40 times since.
In an interaction with TNIE, Kiran says more than 12,000 people die everyday in the country due to lack of blood availability and donors. “Nearly six lakh liters of blood is being wasted per annum because of lack of coordination between blood banks and hospitals.”
With an aim to bridge the gap between donors and patients, Kiran, who quit his job in the marketing department of a university, launched Simply Blood in January 2017, which is the world’s first virtual platform for blood donation. More than 40,000 registered users from all over the world are connected via its mobile application and website. He says he has been receiving overwhelming response from people throughout his journey. So far he has covered 13 states and one union territory on foot, travelling for about 15,000 kilometers to promote blood donation.
“As of now, I am walking alone and cover about 40 kilometers in a day; sometimes even more. A few enthusiasts had joined me in my journey. I am confident that people will understand the value of blood donation and at least 1.5 lakh potential lives can be saved when I end my journey.”

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