Srinagar, Sep 17: A 61-year-old man from Srinagar has set an example by donating 175 pints of blood to help the needy and poor patients across Kashmir valley.
Shabir Ahmad Khan, a resident of the Kamagarpora area of Downtown Srinagar remains ready to donate blood to save precious lives.
Khan told Rising Kashmir that he began donating blood when he was just 15-year-old boy. “Since 1980s to till date, I am a regu¬lar donor and have donated my blood for the sake of humankind,” he said.
The 60-year-old is a papier-mâché artist and has earned the epithet of ‘Blood Man’ for his inspiring example and also motivating others to join the caravan.
“During the COVID-19 lockdown, I along with other 60 volunteers do¬nated 60-65 pints of blood at Red Cross Society office and on other oc¬casions also,” he said.
“I have donated my blood to peo¬ple who were injured in the Qazigund incident and in Uri as well during the 2005 earthquake. I worked with other volunteers and donated blood for the needy there,” he said.
Khan said before the COVID-19 pandemic, he used to spend time at Srinagar hospitals to find needy patients. But now he remains in constant touch with local volunteers who update him about any exigency.
“Apart from blood donation, I also provide water and other services to mourners dur¬ing Muharram processions as it gives me inner solace. I am also a life member of the Red Cross society,” he added.
For his efforts, Khan was also felicitated by the erstwhile Governor of J&K state, Satya Pal Malik with appreciation award and described him as a role model for the youth.
In 2017 at Kashmir’s largest ma¬ternity care facility, Lal Ded hospital, Khan was felicitated with a certifi¬cate describing him as ‘Blood Man of Kashmir’.
He said “uncertain circumstanc¬es” in the valley have left many persons injured many of them in dire need of blood. “We are on our toes every time to save the lives of the people,” he said.
Khan, who started donating blood alone, is now heading hundreds of volunteers across Kashmir who remain ready to donate blood in times of need.
He says although donating blood leads to temporary weakness in the body, “in the long-run it appears to be one of the main causes of remain¬ing healthy.”
Khan has donated blood outside J&K as well including in New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Ben¬gal, and other places.
“My message to youth is to donate their blood for the needy and don’t hesitate in doing that,” he said.
For his work, Khan was invited by Nobel peace laureate Mother Teresa to Kolkatta in 1988 where he spent two weeks with her team.