A Vashi-based professional youth group has taken their passion to ride bikes to the next level, by serving society.
It was year 2005 when 15 childhood friends all in the age group of 20 to 30 years (Seamen Rahul Warudkar and Devendra Singh, chemist Kamlesh Deopurkar, marketing field Prashant Deopurkar, IT Alok Mhatre, engineering designer Vishal Kumbhar, FMCG Nilesh T, government servant Amar Patil, Kiran and others) of C-2 type association of Sector-16 and their friends of Vashi came together to form a voluntary organization called ‘Mumbaikars’.
“The best part of our organization is that we all enjoy the same post as volunteers. All the decisions are taken jointly and work is also taken up voluntarily without any pressure”.
“Initially we were only moving around on bikes from city to city each weekend just for fun. It was only last year that we decided to give a turning point to our organization for serving society,” says Rahul Warudkar, one of the members.
We chalked out four plans for the year. The first one was to visit Param Shanti Dham Senior Citizen Home, Taloja in the month of March. Here we distributed fruits and food materials. Later in the month of June we visited Kothimbe tribal village’s zilla parishad school located at Karjat. Here we distributed stationeries to 82 poor and needy students, informs Warudkar.
“This time on Sunday, November 8, we decided to organize a blood donation camp. We asked one of our member friends Kamlesh Deopurkar who is a chemist, to take the initiative to organize such an event. After a long discussion we decided to organize the camp in co-ordination with KEM Hospital instead of NMMC General Hospital”. Being more specific he informs, “In KEM Hospital there are Thalassemic patients whose lives are in danger if they do not receive blood transfusion while in other cases it is not so,” says Warudkar.
To ensure adequate response we organized free pick-up and drop from Nerul and CBD-Belapur railway stations. The event was graced by the presence of MLA Sandeep Naik.
He further added “It is only due to the support extended by our C-2 Association and KEM Hospital we were able to make it a success. Moreover few of the donors have also expressed and asked support from us to organize such event in their vicinity. This a good sign as our objective was to spread awareness and a number of camps to save more and more lives”.
One of the supporting organizing members and a frequent Blood Donor Shailesh Shantaram Bagwe expressed why he opted to donate blood, “I still remember the year 1992-93 when Mumbai had to face serial bomb blasts. There was a major shortage of blood in government as well as private hospitals and many even lost their lives due to this lacuna. This is what made me realize my responsibility and I started donating blood. Today I am 38 years old and have donated 81 times and help in organizing many such camps”.
He further informed, “Any person between the age group of 18-60 years old can donate blood in the interval of three months. To promote such cause the State Blood Transfusion Council (SBTC) has started providing a blood donation record book to the donors. The respective donor can now avail one blood bottle free of cost for her/his relative or friend in need of blood. Those who have donated at least four times will be eligible for getting benefits under Green Card Scheme from SBTC. This scheme gives a privilege to receive preference in each government and semi-government hospital”.
—Jaspal Singh Naol