A rural school teacher who has donated blood 88 times and is on a mission to save lives
A teacher in a village government school in Nuapada, Odisha has been regularly donating blood for the past 30 years. He has participated in more than 400 blood donation camps and organises awareness drives for blood donation.
Darshan Sharma 30 Aug 2023 6:11 AM GMT
When Kishore Parida was just 18 years old and impressionable, he donated blood for the first time in his life. His actions perhaps saved the life of a pregnant woman. That was in 1993, and ever since the school teacher has donated blood 88 times.
Parida is a teacher at the Government Upper Primary School in Kuliabandha village in Nuapada district, in Odisha. Before this he taught at a private school between 1998 and 2003. And wherever he has been, he has made it a point to spread awareness on the importance of donating blood.
The 48-year-old Parida teaches Odia, history and geography to the students of classes six, seven, and eight. But his strongest message is around blood donation and saving lives.
“I tell my students about blood donation and explain what it is all about, and how their action can save precious lives,” the 48-year-old teacher told Gaon Connection.
Besides being an active donor himself, the teacher also makes it a point to spread awareness about blood donation.
“I do this through youth organisations, women’s organisations, social institutions and of course schools and colleges, and dispel their fears and the myths surrounding blood donation,” he said.
And his hard work is paying off. “I have been teaching for so many years now and many of my students who are adults now donate blood regularly. My colleagues at school, both teaching and non-teaching staff, donate blood,” Parida said. He has also actively involved himself in blood donation camps in Nuapada.
The school teacher has participated in more than 400 blood donation camps. He also has motivated many more people to come to the blood donation camps and donate their blood. Parida is often invited to speak to people to assure them how safe blood donation is. “It is important to lead by example. Only if I walk the talk will people believe me,” he said.
Thanks to his efforts, the block education department at Nuapada has also started a Live Blood Bank mission where blood is made available to anyone who is in need.
Parida has been a life member of the Indian Red Cross since 2002. “I get calls every day and night sometimes, requesting blood. I try my best to see that they get the blood and I always tell them that this is a free service and they need not pay anything for it,” he said.
Parida has more than a thousand numbers saved on his phone of donors along with their blood groups. “The minute I get a call from the blood bank or from someone who needs blood of a certain blood group, I start getting in touch with my contacts,” he said.
He explains to the donors about the person who requires the blood and requests them to donate their blood. There are times when he takes the donors to the blood bank.
According to Parida, the main challenge is ignorance about blood donation. “I have seen relatives of patients running here and there looking for blood, unaware that they themselves can safely donate blood.”
“The shortage of blood in the blood banks has to be made good by hundreds and thousands of donors. There is always the need for blood in emergency health situations, after accidents, in cases of anaemia, etc., every single day,” said Parida.
He said there was inadequate awareness in the masses about blood donation, and many feared donating blood. “Many people do not know that the blood in our body is replenished. If they donate their blood, the body makes more blood,” the teacher said.
Parida is on a mission now to get blood separators from the health department and the district administration to be installed in all district hospitals.
“A separator can benefit many more people as it can separate the different components of the blood such as the plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells, platelets, and more,” he said. This would mean better and optimum use of the blood that was donated, the school teacher explained.
Parida kept his mission of blood donation alive even during the COVID-19 pandemic. He was responsible for not just donating blood at the crucial times but also urging others to do the same, after observing all COVID protocols. He participated in nearly 25 blood donation camps during the difficult and challenging pandemic days.
Parida has received several awards, one of which is the Blood Donor of the Decade award given to him by District Headquarters Hospital at Nuapada.
He has also received the District Award to Teacher from the Department of School and Mass Education in 2017. He has twice been awarded the Prakruti Bandhu Award in 2005 and 2018 by the Forest and Environment Department, Odisha.
“The awards are incidental. My aim is to be of help to as many people as I can,” the teacher smiled.