Every hour, hundreds of people across the world require blood for a transfusion, a surgery or some medical procedure.However, the demand for blood is huge compared to its supply from donors. So, the solution lies in empowering people on blood donation, connecting blood donors with those in need and above all save lives. Here comes “Friends2support” popularly known as F2S to address these needs.
F2S is an organization that brings voluntary blood donors and those in need of blood on to a common platform. Through its website – http://www.friends2support.org, a person in need can visit the website to search for a suitable donor based on the blood group, city or town. Five friends – Sheikh Shareef, Naveen Reddy, S. Koteshwara Rao, Phani Kethamakka and Murali Krishna – hailing from Narsaraopet, Guntur District in Andhra Pradesh inaugurated Friends2Support on November 14, 2005 in Hyderabad. The founders are all software engineers. So what made these IT professionals take up these bloody problems? In their own words, they ask us few questions back – Have you at any time witnessed a relative of yours or a close friend searching frantically for a blood donorwhen blood banks say out of stock and the time keeps ticking? Have you witnessed loss of life for the only reason that a donor was not available at the most needed hour? Is it something that we as a society can do nothing to prevent? This thought laid the foundation of F2S.
F2S mission is to fulfil every blood request in the country with a promising web portal and motivated individuals who are willing to donate blood. Their vision is to be “The hope of every Indian in search of a voluntary blood donor” and the motto driving them – “Donate blood to save the most precious human life”.
F2S is a providing a nexus between good & kind hearted people. At the inception there were only 200 donors, but now the count rose to 100,000 donors and it is increasing. Now F2S is the India’s largest blood donor’s database. F2S have launched Free SMS facility to blood donors – Registered users will get SMS along with their user name and password,
- When they registered as blood donors or request for forgot password
- They will get thank you SMS when they donates blood
- They will get reminder SMS when they have completed 3 months from their last blood donation
The user-friendly F2S website enables blood donation requests in a date wise format. It hosts a transparent database of blood donor’s, which can be accessed by anyone. It contains details like donor name, location, blood group and mobile number. If one find any donor unavailable for donation or has changed phone number, one can utilise the “Report” option beside every donor name. F2S have completed “State-District-Location” database in our Country (almost 8000+ locations in India). Everyone can get voluntary blood donor within hours at free of cost. F2S reports that approximately 300 people are donating blood every day through this website. After donating blood, donor name will be hidden till next 90 days to avoid calls to him. On 91st day his name will be automatically visible in the search results.
Leveraging technology and adding mobility to the platform, F2S has launched several mobile apps to provide smart solution to find and/or register as blood donors. Development of these apps has certainly driven efficiency and penetration among the people. Install ‘friends2suppot.org’ app in your Android, windows and iOS phones to assist people around you when they require blood. In future, F2S plans to set up a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker, which will automatically detect the location of the caller, and send details of available blood donors along with the status of the availability of the donor to the caller, through voluntary call analysts, having sound regional knowledge, in every single state.
F2S do understands the hindrances on blood donation and has focused extensively on empowerment of people on this front. To grow awareness among people across villages and cities it has partnered with several social organizations/associations and government hospitals. To catch attention it has conducted bike and cycle rallies in Tier 2 cities and several towns. To reach out to office-goers and their families it has conducted camps and sessions with multiple corporates in different parts of India. It also participated in Joy of Giving Week, last October. F2S members and supporters have used social media extensively and the top focus always remains to help rural mass and poor people.
Owing to the above monstrous efforts, we see people seeking help from Vadodara to Jabalpur and donors from Punjab to Kerala.
“Friends2support” also works to provide educational support to brilliant students who have discontinued their studies because of unfortunate circumstances. Read about its notable work with the marginalised families of the society in rural Andhra Pradesh here.
F2S does not encourage any donations; it runs with its own funds. What it really requires is your helping hand, lower your arm and give the gift of life by donating blood. Throw away the taboos and spread the wonderful message of blood donation. In fact, a lot of facts, misconception, figures and questions related to blood donations are documented in the F2S website here. You can also join their app development team, currently Shareef and his friends are looking out for volunteers to develop F2S Blackberry app.
Owing to this tremendous effort by F2S in the last 7 years, it has been recognised by Limca Book of Records, mBillionth South Asia Award in 2013, UN Millennium development goals Award, winner of Manthan award and also Nominated for Nasscom Social Innovation Honours. Awards do bring gratification, but F2S founding team feels inspired when they look back and finds 1,50,000 lives saved so far. This goes above all human awards – it is a godly act