Blood Donors Unite
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Young entrepreneurs' socialblood.org to hunt for nearest donors, clicks.
Karthik Naralasetty's foray into entrepreneurship was in 2009, when he was just 22 and had dropped out of Rutgers University, New Jersey, to start his design and branding technology company in Bangalore.
He later started socialblood.org an online platform that uses social networking site Facebook to help people promote blood donation.
The platform is catching up fast, and will continue to do so as evident from the response of the young audience at TedXGateway in Mumbai. He spoke about his venture at the event.
He recalled how it all began. In June 2011, he was moved on reading about a family's struggle to save a four-year-old girl suffering from Thalassemia. That was the trigger for Naralasetty to start socialblood.org.
"I read about this little girl suffering from Thalassemia, who needed about 30 donors for blood transfusion every month. Her parents had to keep running from pillar to post every other week to keep her alive. With such a massive population as ours, this was sad to witness," Naralasetty said.
Using the Facebook password and name, anyone can login to socialblood.org and access its vast database. The platform connects potential donors, and filters people according to blood type and area they live. A special feature, 'Blood Relations' helps the user get in touch with people of the same blood type on the Facebook friend list.
"In emergencies such as accidents, time is extremely important. We are still relying on the old system to procure blood and sometimes it gets too late. socialblood.org focuses a lot on this aspect so that appropriate donors staying closest to the needy person can be reached at the earliest," he said.
The site has approximately 5,000 members from 20 countries, with a substantial number from Brazil. He said, "Blood falling short of requirement is not a problem limited to India. Facebook, a powerful tool for communication was there but was not being used for such a purpose. In India too, almost every person in the urban population has a Facebook account. Why not tap such a useful resource?"
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