“Hello, Red Cross Hotline …” says Chandrakala Rawal, the operator of the free hotline service 1130 run by NRCS. As soon as the phone is received, Devaki Thapa from Baneshwor, Kathmandu asks if there is a blood donation programme in nearby area in the coming two or three days. “I cannot walk far from my home during the lockdown but I want to donate my blood,” she continues.
“Have you donated blood before or are you thinking of donating for the first time?” asked Rawal from Hotline. “About 23 years ago, a friend of mine at the organization where I work needed blood when she was in labor. She got my blood type. And I gave blood for the first time,” Thapa replies.
“And how did you feel about donating the blood for the first time?” Rawal queries. When a curious question comes from the hotline, Thapa says, “I wanted to donate blood because I love my colleague. But I was also afraid. Because of my friend’s condition and love, I decided to donate blood out of fear. I managed to help my friend. Blood should be donated always when needed, shouldn’t it?”
“Have you been donating blood ever since?” Rawal asks next, and Thapa answers, “Not regularly. But I will give as long as my health allows. I am always ready to donate blood when needed. Now I want no one lose life due to coronavirus or due to lack of blood.”
Listening to Thapa’s desire to save the lives of those in need, 1130 Hotline’s Rawal answers, “You are very kind. Do all members of your family have the same sense of service?” Being a little serious, Thapa says, “Our family is a middle-class family. We deduct our household expenses and help with the remaining money for the food, medical treatment, and education of the disabled, the elderly, and orphans.”
Finally, Thapa learned about the blood donation program in Baneshwor. Two days later, Devaki Thapa rang again on NRCS hotline service 1130 and says “I donated blood. I wish best for all the Red Cross people who work for others during this pandemic. Many thanks to the Red Cross 1130 Hotline for the information about the blood donation programs during the coronavirus situation.”
Photos received from Devaki Thapa and Chandrakala Rawal