Started in 2008, Saral Blood Bank has put itself on the map of health services quite boldly. Operated by Smt. Sarla Singhvi Charitable Society, Saral Blood Bank is a state of the art facility with high end infrastructure and services to collect, store, process and supply blood.
The blood bank attained its license in February 2008 after meritorious efforts made by Mr. Shyam Singhvi, its founder. Chartered Accountant (CA) by profession, Mr. Singhvi has been efficiently managing the blood bank since 2008.
Wondering why a Chartered Accountant would go through all the troubles to set up a blood bank?
That’s the exact question which we were thinking before interviewing him.
The story behind the foundation of the Blood Bank goes before 2005. As Mr. Singhvi remembers, it was in the year 2003 when his wife Smt. Sarla Singhvi was diagnosed with cancer. Before leaving the world, Mrs. Sarla Singhvi asked her husband to setup a blood bank so that the people of their city did not have to face troubles. After her passing it was jotted down in Mr. Singhvi’s memory with an iron pen to make her last wishes come true.
His journey began on 25th August, 2005 and seemed as if it was decided in heaven that he won’t stop till he completes the journey of establishing a blood bank. A candidate of his stature had to personally travel more than 40 times to Jaipur and more than 10 times to Delhi in order to just get the license for the blood bank. Where corruption guards the way, Mr. Singhvi chose to take another way round.
In Februrary 2008 his efforts finally paid off. The then health minister, Mr. Digambar Singh Choudhary gave him the NOC. The cherry on the top was that Mr. Singhvi’s efforts got the blood bank both component and whole blood license too. Till then there was no license for components in Southern Rajasthan and General Hospital had only whole blood license.
The Blood Bank works under Smt. Sarla Devi Charitable Society. Located at: 30, Near Math, Bhupalpura, Udaipur-313001, Rajasthan, India.
The blood bank was inaugurated by Dr. Digamber Singh, the then health minister, along with Dr. VN Shrikhande on 23rd April 2008.
As Mr. Singhvi says, ‘Since then the blood bank is running continuously and has never been shut down for even an hour’. The blood bank has been designed by REMI. The building has a sterile environment and is centrally air conditioned with latest equipments for testing, storing and collecting blood.
Another amazing fact that Mr. Singhvi recalls is that when the ‘Saral’ was founded, with every blood bag, they asked people for replacement when they were capable of doing so. At the beginning almost 33% blood was collected from volunteering donors and rest was collected by requesting to people. After almost 6 years of its foundation the scenario has changed. As the smile on Mr. Singhvi’s face widens and his eyes glow with happiness he is proud to say that now 70% of blood is collected by volunteering donors.
As noble as the idea behind its foundation, Saral Blood Bank shares a noble mission too. The blood bank charges as per the rates fixed by the Government of India. The patients of severe diseases such as thalassemia are give blood free of cost. People who are below poverty line are also given blood free of cost once their BPL certification is verified. Two doctors are always posted (on duty) at the Blood Bank.
The bank now uses automated testing machines by ELISA Technologies. It has also started using gel technology for grouping and cross matching. The bank has a capacity of storing 600 to 800 units of blood at a time and blood is stored in a ‘triple bag’. A triple bag is a blood bag which is used to store components of the blood. Once blood is collected from a person, it is centrifuged and the components: Packed Red Cells, Plasma and Platelets are stored separately. In this way one unit of blood can save three different lives.
Saral Blood Bank has now become a component of ‘Saral Society’, which is dedicatedly providing Mobile Hospitals, Educational & Health Services for the poor and needy in rural areas, Purified Water Services at Government Hospital in Udaipur, 24*7 Ambulance Services and the like.
Once started as a dream, the Saral Blood Bank is now proudly serving the society and can be credited for saving hundreds of lives each day. Recall last time you saved one. Dreams indeed sound crazy, impossible and meaningless, until someone takes the bold step to make them come true. None of us could understand the impression a 450ml blood bag leaves on a person’s life, whether it be a donor or a receiver.
We have all developed the habit of laughing things out. All we need to do is laugh out at people who don’t donate because they find it useless. Except when one is not suitable for donation, each of us should donate blood at least once in life.
My job may have finished at writing this article, but yours has just begun. The contact details of the Blood Bank are given below. Make sure to do your bit. It can save a life.
Address: 30, Near Math, Bhupalpura, Udaipur – 313001, Rajasthan
Phone: 0294-2416285, 09166614802
Photo Credits : Kashish Chandrayan
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