BLOOD DONOR ARJUN PRASAD MAINALI
Mr. Arjun Prasad Mainali has put tireless efforts in educating, advocating, encouraging, promoting and creating awareness among thousands of people about the importance of blood donation for human civilization. He has an impressive stand on the need for donating blood, and how much a common person can contribute to it and make a substantial difference. He is a strong believer of humanitarian services and has contributed immensely to establish a society that believes in social responsibility.
Understanding the knowledge level gap, and stereotype related to blood donation, he embodied the leadership approach of presenting himself as a role model. To this point, he has donated 191 (whole blood 126 times and platelets 65) times during his 33 years of blood donation movement. This amounts to 95.5 liters of whole blood and platelets combined. According to Red Cross, one pint of blood can help save as many as three people. By this account, Mr. Mainali has helped save precious lives of as many as 573 people. He himself has donated whole blood 6 times and platelets 13 times in the year of 2014, which is exceptional.
He travelled to 17 countries (United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, Macau, Bermuda, Thailand, Nepal, India, Ecuador, Haiti, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya) of 6 continents and 14 states of United States (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Alaska, California, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland and New Hampshire) for the sole purpose of donating blood along with local people. He organized more than 300 blood drive programs and motivated local communities of these 17 countries by personally donating blood in more than 100 of these programs. Due to his efforts more than 200,000 people are educated on the need and importance of blood donation, 30,000 people came to blood donation programs, and 15,000 of them donated blood. As a result people from well above 700 local community organizations were mobilized.
He has spent 6,251 minutes to draw his blood and platelets, which equals to bearing the needle on his arm for 104 hours and 11 minutes. He has spent around 1 thousand 5 hundred hours in blood drive camps with average of 5 hours per camp. Likewise, he is spending at least one hour daily on research, contacting people and motivating them for donating blood. In total, he has spent about 11 thousand 3 hundred hours in the last 33 years to create awareness on blood donation. He has spent 642 hours on traveling to donate blood. He has been awarding many individual and organizations who have actively helped donate blood.
He ha donated blood and platelets 19 times COVID-19 pandemic.
To institutionalize blood donation and campaign, he founded blood donors organizations; Blood Donors Association Nepal, Blood Donors of America, International Nepalese Blood Donors, and World Blood Donor Incorporation.
Oyster Bay Town, New York has honored him for his extraordinary humanitarian service by officially proclaiming December 22 as 'World Blood Donor Arjun Mainali Day'. He was awarded Leo of the Year Award, Presidential Volunteer Service Award, Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, Leader of the Year from Nepalese Association in Southeast America, ANA Hero from Association of Nepalis in the Americas, Good Neighbor from American Red Cross, Citation from New York State Assembly, Nassau County Legislature, and many more other awards for his leadership skill, humanitarian service, and social contribution.
Contact: P.O. Box 7115, Hicksville, New York 11802 Email: email@example.com Tel.: 9145841141
First Blood Donation
On August 20th of 1987, I was roaming the Bishal Bazar, Kathmandu. On that day Lions Club had sponsored a blood drive at that particular place. For the first time in my life, I saw a blood drive. And, I recalled the story of The Blood Donor. During the period of 1985/86 AD, I had gone through the chapter titled ‘The Blood Donor’ in my college textbook called ‘English For College’. The story made me curious and raised several questions inside me. One of those was – "Is it possible to take out blood from the human body?" I donated blood after knowing the basic knowledge about blood donation. After one week of blood donation, I got the donor card from the Blood Transfusion Service Center (BTSC). My blood group was mentioned as 'O Positive' in the card. Before that, I didn't know my blood group.
I have seen, so many times, those relatives were afraid to donate blood as they used to think donating blood makes their body weaker. Seeing this situation, I decided to donate blood for those who are in need. And, this was my commitment at that time. On February 19, 1988, I donated blood for the second time, third time on July 30, 1988. This experience helped me a lot while convincing others for blood donation. Gorkhapatra, oldest daily newspaper of Nepal, published news about me on February 23, 1990. That news got the huge response; I was overwhelmed by the people's comment and best wishes.
I wasn't swayed to donate blood frequently. I started donating with the aspiration to save someone else's life. Also, my goal was to be an example to motivate others to donate blood. I never felt exhausted just because of donating blood. I did 31 days long Bi-cycle tour all across the country to spread awareness among people for donating blood. Even after the cycle trip, I continued donating blood and breaking misconception of people. I never felt any weakness or dizziness even after cycling 31 days continuously.
I participated in International Colloquium on Education as a Tool for Donor Motivation and Recruitment in West Bengal, and International Colloquium on Blood Donor Recruitment, Geneva.
Blood Donation in New York
United States needs 40 thousand unit bloods every day and annually they need 30 million blood components. Another interesting factor about blood donation in United States was that only 35 percent of the American population were eligible donors and among them only 5 percent eligible people used to donate blood. According to the fact, 1 out of every 7 patients needed the blood transfusion in American hospitals. What could I alone do? Only thing I could do was to continue donating blood regularly.
I sponsored blood drive under the banner of Kirat Yakthum Chumlung in Nepalese Community in New York on September 25, 2008. It was the first blood drive in New York of Nepalese Community. During the camp, 39 Nepalese donated blood. Also, I also sponsored another blood drive with Nepali Public Relation Committee on December 28, 2008 in the same place. Later, so many Nepali community organizations started sponsoring similar drives.
New York To Canada
I saw the necessity to sponsor blood drive in different courtiers, as this initiation was already successful. And, I chose Canada as my next destination. I listed contacts of Nepalese living in Canada through Facebook and Google. I landed at Toronto Airport on 1st March 2013. Dr. Govind Singh Rawat was at the airport to welcome me. We directly went to Blood Donor Clinic, Mississauga and along with other 15 Nepalese blood donor where I donated blood for 108th times. Gopi Krishna Kafle, General Secretary of NRN Canada was delighted with my initiation and promised to make it one of the annual programs of his organization.
When we could save lives of patients in different countries it feels like our country is helping them. I felt same at the event.
Some of my friends in New York area work as a Taxi driver. When I used to request them to donate blood, they were scared saying they have to drive taxi whole day and donating blood might make them weak. I used to take the example of myself to convince them that one can drive immediately after donating blood. I was going to donate blood in Canada after driving all the way from New York. It took 10 hours to reach to Mississauga from Hicksville driving 813 km. I received a very warm welcome at Blood Donor Clinic, they were happy seeing me coming from New York to Mississauga just to donate blood on September 27, 2014. It was my second blood donation in Canada.
Blood Donation Initiation In Ireland
I chose Ireland as my next destination after Canada. On December 2, 2013, I made a plan to visit Dublin to donate blood. Then, I sponsored a blood drive to discuss the importance of blood donation with Nepalese community residing there. It was 7 hours long flight to reach Dublin from New York.
On December 4, 2013, I bought a two-way ticket. My salary of a month was going to be spent on airfare, accommodation, and food in Ireland. And, I thought— is it ok to spend so much money to go to Ireland? I talked to the president of NRN, Ireland Ganesh Prasain over the phone about my concern. "I talked to some of Nepalese here and most of them are busy with their works and they don't want to donate blood in winter season", he answered me. Patients may need blood in every season. His answer made me convinced to go to Ireland. I thought of doing my 114th blood donation in Ireland and motivating Nepalese people there. I informed other Nepalese organizations and Dublin Lions Club. And, wrote an email to Blood Donor Center of Dublin.
I had fear inside me that I might be ineligible to donate blood as every European country has their own rule of selecting blood donors. Before, I traveled to Albany from New York but couldn't donate because of high blood pressure and pulse issues.
I reached Dublin as planned. One of the officers from Irish Blood Transfusion Service said that as I was a Nepalese I had to test Malaria in my blood and only if the report comes negative I can donate blood after three months. I had traveled to Dublin with enthusiasm to donate blood but felt unhappy for not being able to.
Most of the western nations have their own rules of selecting donors. The donors had to stay in the country and must have clean records of their character and behaviors. They implement these criteria for the safety of donors and receivers. I was unhappy for not being able to donate blood in Ireland but was not hopeless.
I again planned for donating blood in Ireland on November 24, 2014 in Irish Blood Service Center. Before, Irish Blood Donor Center had tested malaria on my blood and report was negative. I wrote an email to Blood Donor Center and fixed the time for 12:30 for November 24, 2014 and booked the air ticket. I reached Dublin around 5 am. Altogether 19 Nepalese donors were presented at the Blood Service Center. Blood donation of that day was 119th of mine. At the end of the day, I felt very happy for accomplishing Ireland mission.
Blood Donation In England
I was firm on my goal of making Nepalese blood donors in different countries and connect all those donors in an organization. During worldwide blood donation initiative, I went to London from New York on March 9, 2014. Coincidently, on the very day annual meeting of Federation of Nepalese Journalist London was scheduled. I was delighted as the organizer welcomed me as a guest of the meeting. During the meeting, I inaugurated the Nepalese Blood Donors UK and contributed one thousand dollars to the organization. After the event, Bhagirath Yogi of BBC Nepali Service interviewed me. On March 10, 2014, 30 people donated blood in a blood drive sponsored by Nepalese Blood Donors UK and I also did 115th donation of mine.
I chose Bermuda as my next destination for May 9, 2014.
Blood Donation in Bermuda
I contacted some of the Nepalese residing in Bermuda. Bhola Bhattarai from Bermuda helped me to collect potential Nepalese blood donors. Finally, he listed 11 people as a potential blood donor. I had booked air ticked two months ago for May 9, 2014. I later realized my parents from Nepal were coming to New York on the same day. So I postponed my ticket for May 2nd and went to Bermuda. I requested others to conduct program as preplanned on May 9. Total 42 Nepalese people are living in Bermuda and among them, 11 people donated blood in local Blood Bank on May 9th. During the worldwide blood donation initiation, I did my 116th blood donation in Bermuda on May 2, 2014.
While donating blood, Dr. Keith Kaningham, Director of Hospital Board of Bermuda said me that my initiation not only has inspired Nepalese in Bermuda but also the local people; and extended his best wishes for the initiative. I felt motivated from his compliments. Also, an immigration officer of Bermuda told me that he will donate blood soon as he was motivated through my initiative.
Blood Donation In 15 Days
On May 16, 2014 around 8:30 pm I received a call from 8009332566. "77 years old woman who has cancer is in need of platelets and your platelets matches with her. Will you give her platelets?" a staff of New York Blood Center asked me immediately. I had donated blood in Bermuda two weeks before. I asked him – Can I donate blood this soon? He replied that whole blood can be donated maximum 6 times in a year and platelets can be donated every week or 24 times in a year maximum.
I went to New York Blood Center at 8 am next day. Blood Bank staff checked my blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and Iron in my blood. Then they drew blood from my arms and sent it to Amicus Platelet Apheresis machine. The machine filtered platelets from my blood and sent the rest red cells back to my body from another arm.
Up to three products of Platelets can be taken from a human body depending on the ratio. I donated two products of platelets on that day. It took two hours just to donate platelets. Up to 16 units of blood should be drawn from a human body to filter two products of platelets. I sneezed 5-6 times while donating and it was stopped after Blood Bank's staff gave me three pills of Calcium. I stayed steady for two hours while donating platelets.
Two hours in travel, half an hour for checkups and two hours for platelets donation, I spent 4 and half hours in total on that day to donate platelets. My time didn't go worthless as it saved a life of a Cancer patient. That was my 117th blood donation.
Blood Donation in Australia
My only wish is to motivate Nepalese to save lives of patients from donating blood wherever they are. I'm trying to drive Nepalese for this noble cause and have visited different places to motivate them and donated blood with them.
In 2014, I donated whole blood with Nepalese in 6 countries, and donated platelets 13 times in New York. I donated 9.5 liters of blood in a single year. This volume is four times more than the volume donated by any Nepalese. On December 31, 2014, I checked the list of countries where Nepalese have donated blood on the global map. I'm living in United States, which is situated at the Northwest part of the globe and I saw Australia at Southeast part of the globe. Australia bears summer while United States feels winter.
In the eve of World Blood Donors Day, I planned to donate blood in Australia. With the help of Nepalese, a blood drive was scheduled for 12th and 13th June in Parramatta and Town Hall Blood Donor Center of Red Cross Sydney.
I booked the two-way ticket from a travel agency for June 10th and 15th June in 2015. It costs me around 16 hundred dollars but I didn't have that much amount of money but didn't want to give up my plan. I filed a loan application in my office and got the loan after four days. I used that money to buy the ticket.
I started counting days to donate blood in Sydney, as it would be my first time in Australia and for the event; I approved one-week leave from the office. I didn't have sufficient space to park in my apartment so asked permission from security personals to park the car in the office during my leave. Also, I applied for the visa through online means.
I got sick during the second week of April with the allergy of Pollen. It’s a common problem in Northeast America. I suffered allergy in eyes and started sneezing frequently; and pain in my nose, throat, and ears. During the second week of May pus started rolling through my right ear. I was afraid that I might not be able to go to Sydney so went to my regular physician immediately. He gave me antibiotics for 10 days to cure my problem and extended his best wishes for the successful accomplishment of Sydney mission.
I landed at Sydney on the scheduled day. Bijay Pokhrel and other three people were present at the airport to welcome me. They took me to their home. After a while, Bharat Pokhrel, Secretary of NRN Australia, arrived at my place. We went to Town Hall Blood Donor Center with him and met several other donors at the center. I couldn't donate blood at the time, as my blood pressure was high due to jet lag. I visited different places of Sydney with them and stayed at Prem Kumar Shrestha’s house, who was my neighbor in Kathmandu, on that particular night. He took care of my needs and I was happy seeing his well-managed lifestyle.
Next day, on 13th June, Bharat came to my place and took me to a program of handing over relief fund for Nepalese Earthquake victims, which was collected in Australia. After the event, Bharat sent me to Town Hall Blood Donor Center with another Nepalese blood donor. At first, during the checkup my blood pressure was high but after 20 minutes it got normal and I was declared eligible to donate blood. On the day I did 137th blood donation of my life. It was my first tune in Australia. Along with me, other 77 Nepalese also donated blood in that program.
Nepalese in Sydney had organized a dinner program after the event and I was the chief guest of the program. As a chief guest, I had to give a speech. During my speech, I tried to convince people there to donate blood regularly and tried to explain misconceptions about blood donation, giving several examples of mine. I shared the experience of Bi-cycle Tour in Nepal, how I had donated blood, driving hundreds of Kilometers.
The hospitality I received during my stay in Sydney was immense; even I can't provide such hospitality to others. The people in Sydney energized me.
New York to Africa
Grief is everywhere. Only the bearer can have a sense of it. On June 25, 2016, the President of Malawi, a landlocked country in Africa, Peter Mutharika had urged his people to consume mice and grasshoppers in order to cope nationwide food crisis. The emergency was declared in Malawi after food crisis. After knowing these facts, I searched about Malawi in Google.
10 hundred thousand people in Malawi were suffering from HIV, Malaria and Typhoid like diseases. Hundreds and hundreds pregnant women died in a year due to over bleeding, two-thirds of patients facing scarcity of blood for transfusion. This information about Malawi made me anxious. And, thought of helping those people filled my heart.
The case of Malawi shocked me as I used to think that scarcity of blood is at minimum level worldwide due to several blood initiation campaigns. So I committed myself to travel to Malawi to donate blood. I reached to Malawi from New York on 19th August 2016 after 16 hours long boring air trip. Next day, I did 156th blood donation of mine in Malawi Blood Service Center in Lilongwe, capital of Malawi.
About three dozens of local donors and volunteers gathered at the center after being informed about my arrival. I explained them my experience of blood donation and contributed one thousand US dollar to conduct blood donation motivations.
Blood Donation In Center Of The Earth
Patients in 40 countries don't get blood easily for transfusion. Ecuador, a country in South America, is one of them. Only 40 percent of patients get blood to transfuse. I had donated blood in Malawi three months ago. If a person visits malaria-prone zone that person won’t be eligible to donate blood in United States for a year. So I chose Ecuador, which is situated at the center of the earth, to expand the areas to contribute to my initiation.
On November 21, 2016, I landed at Quito, the capital of Ecuador. On the same day, I went to visit local Blood Service Center. I wanted to donate blood on the same day but couldn't due to my pressure as it become high because of high altitude environment. Normally, my blood pressure remains high so I take Metoprolol of 50 mg every day. I was unhappy for not being able to donate blood on that day.
Next day, I went to Blood Service Center with an English translator as last day I faced a problem with language. Ecuadorian speaks Spanish and normally do not understand English. I paid $25 to the translator for half day. Explaining my experience to the people present there I did my 157th blood donation.
My heart was filled with satisfaction. Including Ecuador, I had donated blood in every continent and direction of the earth.
New York To Haiti For Donating Blood
On the first week of October 2016, more than one thousand people lost their lives and more than two hundred thousand buildings were damaged by hurricane Matthew in Haiti. Situated in the center of North and South America, Haiti is smaller than Nepal in terms of area and population. It has the population of 10.6 million. On January 12, 2010, Haiti lost two hundred and twenty thousand people by the devastating earthquake of 7.3 magnitudes. More than three hundred thousand people got injured and more than 15 hundred thousand people lost their home.
Haiti has the mortality rate of 359 per one thousand. More than one hundred thousand people are AIDS victims and 5 thousand infants born with this disease annually. In 2010, nine thousand people died due to Cholera in Haiti. Blood supplies for the patient were not in priority due to poverty and hunger. So, American Red Cross had supplied one thousand units of blood to Haiti. Also, it had arranged more than five thousand units of blood for Haiti in 2010. After getting these facts about Haiti, I thought of motivating people of Haiti to donate blood.
One and a half month after my Ecuador tour I booked my ticket to go to Haiti on February 6, 2017. Before my departure to Haiti, I booked a hotel and informed the Red Cross of Haiti.
Hundreds of people were stuck at the several American Airports as President Trump imposed a travel ban on the people of seven Muslims countries from entering into America on January 29, 2017. Similarly, the oath-taking ceremony of newly elected President of Haiti was scheduled for February 7, 2017. I was afraid of being stuck due to protest happening there. My wife and colleagues had advised me to cancel the trip.
Overlooking their advice, I went to Port-au-Prince. Next day, the receptionist of my hotel called the taxi for me to go to local Blood Bank. Some roads of Port-au-Prince had been blocked due to protest at that moment. After, 45 minutes of taxi ride I reached to the Blood Bank and introduced myself to the staff. One of the nurses who could speak English asked me the reason of choosing Haiti. 'So many patients have died in Haiti due to the shortage of blood. I'm here to donate blood so that at least a patient can survive with it' I replied to her. I filled up a form and got my tests done. I kept the small banner written New York to Haiti Blood Donation Camp behind the chair and did 158th blood donation of my life.
After the completion of donation, I handed over five hundred dollars to the nurse to conduct motivation program of blood donation among secondary level students. On the same day, I flew back to New York from Port-au-Prince. During the air trip back to New York, I felt so motivated for being able to help donate blood in Haiti so that at least a patient could survive.
But immigration office at New York asked me several questions being skeptical over my trip to Haiti. I handed him some documents to verify objectives of my trip and he was convinced.
I have donated blood in 12 countries of 6 continents and 14 states of United States. It has helped to add thousands of people in donor list. This statistic makes me feel satisfied and I think, I no longer have to travel further places for the same cause as so many people already have started donating blood.
Motivating Others For Donating Blood
I used to take my children with me while participating in different events, as there was no one to look after them in the home while my wife was at work. I used to contact people in different places through email and phone to inspire them to donate blood. More than that, I have written a watchword I will donate blood at least 3-6 times in a year on both sides of my car. Printed several copies of brochures with the slogan ‘Please Donate Blood’ and distributed. Published a book of 48 pages about blood donation and distributed one thousand copies to others.
My objective is to inspire more and more people to donate blood. I consider that to promote blood donation, as a noble cause, is my duty. I never thought what others might think about me. I wanted to push Nepalese people in United States into blood donation. So, I tried to motivate as many people as I could.
I have connected with 45 hundred people on Facebook and tried to wish everyone's birthday saying- celebrate your next birthday donating blood. In total, I have sent this message to 16 hundred thousand people every year.
I request to host blood donation camp to whoever Nepalese I met. Once, 6 blood drives (February 18, 2012 in California, on February 25, in New York, March 10, in South Carolina, March 17 in California, March 3 in Georgia, March 31 in Alabama) were scheduled. I emailed the details of the events to Nepalese in United States and published advertisement including details of programs in a Nepali newspaper publishing in America. These blood drives turned out to be a great way to spread the message among Nepalese in United States.
My goal is to save lives of patients through blood donation. I have spent several nights without even blinking my eyes—planning for the next day’s event. I have seen blood donation even in my dreams so many times.
My Investment In Blood Donation
In the last 30 years, I have donated whole blood 115 times and platelets 44 times. It takes around 7 minutes to donate blood each time. Similarly, it takes around 110 minutes to take platelets in average. In this way, I have spent 5,645 minutes to draw my blood and platelets. It means I had to bear the needle, inserted into my veins, for 94 hours and 5 minutes.
Around 200 blood drives have been taken place with my involvement. I have spent around 1 thousand hours in blood camps with average 5 hours for one camp. From last 30 years, I'm spending daily one hour to research, contact and motivate people for donating blood. In total, I have spent my 10 thousand 7 hundred and 65 hours in last 29 years and 6 months.
Moreover, I have donated my blood with local donors in 12 countries of all 6 continents and 14 states of United States. I have shared my ideas with others on how to successfully hold a blood drives and how to attract more people to donate blood. I have used different means of transportation. I have spent 642 hours in travel during this period including 19 hours on the train, 17 hours in the bus, 3 hours in ships, 250 hours driving the car, 259 hours in airplanes and 94 hours to travel by foot. During this period, it took 102 hours to go to the airport and get back home. I have traveled 116, 062 miles in total for blood donation including 940 miles from the train, 80 miles by ship, 342 miles by bus, 10,918 miles by car, 130,594 miles from the airplane, 188 miles by walking. The total length of Earth is 24,874 miles and if I had traveled straight, I would have made 4 rounds of the earth.
My total expenses for overall traveling for blood donation is around 13 thousand dollars including train fare $300, airfare $11,320, petrol for car $1,255, ferry fare $44. I have spent 12 thousand 603 hours for blood donation-related work among which 40 percent was spent in Nepal and rest in United States and other countries.
Increasing Qualitative Donors
Blood donation programs are being popular among Nepalese community in United States. Nepalese community has around 80 organizations in New York. Some of them sponsored blood drives regularly. Some donors used to be scared to donate blood in the starting days and skipped the next camp after the first attempt. For an example there were 9 blood donation camps during 2008 to 2010 in New York and almost all of them were first donors. Regular donors started to appear after conducting several blood drives.
During the starting phase almost 74 percent of donor used to be a new donor but now around 80 percent of Nepalese blood donors in New York are regular.
Around 7 thousands Nepalese people have donated blood in United States since 2008. In these 9 years, total 34 blood donation camps have been carried out by Nepalese organizations in New York only with the coordination of American Red Cross and New York Blood Center. In this period, around two hundred blood donation camps have been organized in United States by Nepalese organizations. In 2014 only Nepalese organizations have sponsored blood drives in 18 states of United States. Besides this, around 3 thousand Nepalese living in other countries have donated their blood.
In 1989, three hundred Nepalese Lion's member had donated blood and this number was increased to one thousand six hundred in the next year after I associated with the Lions Club. In Nepal, around ten thousand people have donated blood during the period of 1989 to 1999. I was focusing on increasing the awareness about blood donation at that time. But, the increment in the number of the blood donors was not because of my efforts only; so many people with positive thought have helped in this initiation.
The Wastage Of Blood
I have donated whole blood and platelets respectively 115 and 44 times. While donating platelets, around 54 milliliters blood of the donor wastage in the bag and pipe. In this calculation, my 2376 ml. blood was wastage during platelets donation process. I consoled myself remembering the fact that I have donated 79 thousand milliliters blood to save 477 people's lives and the volume of wastage blood is very tiny in comparison to the donated blood.
Extracting 500 ml. hundreds from our body through a tiny needle might not be as easy as one thinks. The feeling of ‘saving other's life with our blood' makes it possible. The same feeling inspired me to donate blood regularly ignoring small difficulties.
I felt uncomfortable two times while donating platelets and had to stop the process. Once, an unskilled nurse inserted the needle in the wrong place caused an unbearable pain and had to halt the blood donation.
I have donated whole blood six times and platelets 13 times in 2014. In 2015, I donated whole blood three times and platelets 14 times. On December 11, 2015, I felt uneasy Montesano three days after donating platelets. I felt dehydrated and dizzy. I also remember some friends said "Mainali might have money from American Red Cross for sponsoring blood drives. That is why he is desperate to organize camps." I felt very bad listening to such rumors.
Kirat Yakthung Chumlung in New York was going to sponsor a blood drive on December 9, 2009. I emailed around two thousand people on my network urging to participate in the drive. One of the recipients of my email wrote back to me saying—if there is need of blood then American government will ask us. Why do you care about it?
Another Nepali organization was carrying out a blood drive on December 25 2008 in New York. At the moment the people inside the organization were divided into two groups. I urged to all the people I met to participate in the blood donation. An active member of the organization asked me to postpone the program saying it may damage my reputation as people of another group may dislike me and may not help in the future. But, I didn't hesitate to do the drives and the program was successfully conducted.
Awareness Program on Blood Donation
In 2068 BC, Paramananda Jha, the then vice-president of Nepal, said that through different means we must aware people for donating blood as only human have all the resources of the blood, which can be valuable to save other human's lives. He added youth should play the vital role in making people aware of blood donation.
I was very much motivated by his speech, therefore, I decided to donate one hundred and 28 thousands Nepali rupees (around $1200) to conduct a school level essay competition ‘Donate Blood Save Life’ among the students from three hundreds community schools of Kavrepalanchowk district in coordination with District Education Office. More than six hundred students from community schools participated in the competition.
I also conducted another essay competition entitled 'Blood Donors are Life Savers' in 23 secondary and higher secondary community schools in Okhaldhunga district. I started this campaign of essay competition with the aim of spreading awareness among students. I donated twenty-five thousands to the winner.
Chitwan is the second district after Kathmandu, which needs more blood for the patients during treatment. I sent twenty-five thousands of Nepalese rupees through Dr. Nandalal Regmi to conduct essay competition among students. In 2070 BS, an essay competition was organized among students of twenty-eight schools of the district.
Kantipur Daily, Nepal's largest selling daily, had published news about the scarcity of blood in district hospitals and necessity of making people aware for donating blood in 2067 BS. I decided to help blood donation awareness campaign in Chitwan district and sent 50 thousand rupees to the Red Cross Chitwan Branch to conduct the campaign.
I had heard a lot about the death of pregnant women in the hilly region of Nepal due to the shortage of blood for transfusion. This kind of news used to make me dejected. So, I decided to aware people on the issue and selected Bajura district, poorest district of Nepal, for the pilot campaign.
In Bajura, around three hundred unit of blood was in demand annually. Six patients lost their lives due to lack of the blood in 2072 BS itself. Every month, average eight patients go the hospital in another district for the blood transfusion. Sometimes, it took three to four days for the patients to reach another district from the remote villages on foot, as most of the villages in the district do not have proper transportation access.
I thought people who were suffering from poverty and hunger might not be interested in the issue of blood donation. Therefore, I chose thirteen- thousand school children of the district as my target group because making them aware of blood donation might be fruitful in the coming days.
After knowing these facts, I was determined to inform all 13 thousand students of Bajura district about blood donation. I scheduled my plan in four phases and estimated around three hundred thousand rupees budget for the four months long plan. I used to inform all activities to the Nepali living in America hoping some people among them would help in my initiative but none of the people showed concern in the matter. I had to bear all the expenses of the initiative from my salary.
In the first phase, I collected the list of hard-working students studying in grade 8 through Helping Network, an organization working in Bajura district of Nepal. On June 2, 2016, the scholarship of the total one hundred thousand was handed over to 10 students in the presence of government officials, local leaders, and representatives.
In the second phase, I proposed Helping Network to do honor for blood donor on June 14, 2014 and sent 30 thousand Nepali rupees on the occasion of world blood donors day. Chief District Officer of Bajura handed over the certificate and felicitated 24-blood donor. I think this kind of motivation helped to inspire other people to donate blood.
In the third phase, I sent 75 thousand rupees to Helping Network to publish and circulate pamphlets about blood donation among students of secondary and higher secondary level. Helping Network distributed those pamphlets in all high schools of Bajura in a day in coordination with District Education Office (DEO).
In the fourth phase, an essay competition ‘Donate Blood Save Life’ was organized with the participants from 19 high schools of Bajura. 310 students participated in the competition. I donated 75 thousand rupees for the event and the prize. Similarly, different messages on blood donation and its importance were broadcasted from Radio Bajura and Radio Paubi of Bajura. After series of the program focusing on blood donation, I felt that people of Bajura were aware of the importance of blood donation to a certain extent.
I suggested Curriculum Development Center, Education Ministry of Nepal to mention blood donation in school curriculum so that school children would be informed on the importance of blood donation.
Award to Blood Donation Initiator
On January 2004 I made an announcement to award with 50 thousand rupees cash to the people or organization working for the social cause. Nine people were shortlisted for the award. Among them, I selected Jiwan Basnet, coordinator of RH negative group, Niranjan Paudel of Youth for Blood and Rajan Kandel, coordinator of Club 25 for the award with 50 thousand rupees cash for their contribution in blood donation and awarded Atul Mishra, health reporter of Kantipur Daily, with 25 thousand rupees.
Paramananda Jha, the then vice-president of Nepal, handed cash prize to these social volunteers and writer in a program organized inside his office premises. He said that rewarding such people would help to promote the importance of blood donation among other people.
Reward for Blood Donors
In the eve of World Blood Donors Day, on June 14, 2014, I organized a program in Mugu district in coordination with local Red Cross to reward local blood donors. I handed 20 thousand rupees prize to local barrack of Nepal Army through Red Cross. Many army personnel from that barrack had donated their blood to save lives of many patients in Mugu.
I presented with a prize of 20 thousand rupees to another barrack of Nepal Army in Rukum district on February 19, 2014, on the eve of Nepal's Democracy Day, for their contribution in blood donation.
I sent 10 thousand rupees to Dr. Jhapindra Pokhrel of Bajura district hospital as an acknowledgment of his deed as he saved the life of a pregnant woman in his hospital by donating his blood. The money was handed over to him in a special program organized by Federation of Nepali Journalist Bajura branch with the presence of local leaders and representatives.
Similarly, I presented 10 thousand rupees as a reward for another doctor from Rautahat district of Nepal who saved the life of a pregnant woman in his hospital by donating his blood. Dr. Subash Chaudhary of Rautahat district hospital operated the pregnant lady, as the fetus in her womb was abnormal. However, the patient needed blood during operation and no blood donor was available. As his blood group matched with the patient Dr. Chaudhary himself donated his blood and saved the life of the woman and the baby. The woman previously had miscarriage two times because of abnormal fetus. After having a baby in the third attempt the family of the women termed Dr. Chaudhary the God in a program organized to hand over the reward money.
On November 15, 2016, I saw a tweet from Dr. Sameer Lama of Pyuthan district hospital saying—the desire of saving life gives a human the supernatural power. Later, I knew that Dr. Lama himself had donated his blood to a pregnant woman in midnight and successfully conducted two surgery of that patient. I thought rewarding people like Dr. Lama would obviously stimulate other people to donate blood. I contacted Giru Bhandari of Pyuthan to sponsor a blood drive. I donated 15 thousand Nepali rupees for the program where 15 locals of Pyuthan donated their blood. Five people were felicitated in the program.
Reward for Dr. KC
Blood donors are related to the health sector. So many doctors have contributed selflessly in Nepal. Dr. Govinda KC is one of them. No one can question his integrity and morality. Acknowledging his contribution, I as the president of International Nepalese Blood Donors decided to honor him with 50 thousand rupees cash. Atul Mishra, a journalist of Kantipur Daily, helped me to conduct this event.
The Heart of Generosity
I was born in the remote village of Nepal. I have the experience of grievances that people are bearing. So, I have developed the feeling of helping others. And, this feeling continues till date. I donated whatever I could. Whatever we have today might not be with us tomorrow; this attitude always drives me to donate to the people in need.
Donation to Earthquake Victims
The Devastating earthquake, on April 25, 2015, of 7.8 magnitudes killed 9 thousand people and destroyed thousands of home. More than 20 thousand people sustain injured. The earthquake damaged 350 heritage sites. Nepalese all over the world started collecting help for the victims. I also donated 20 thousand rupees through Non Residential Nepalese, America chapter.
Previously, Nepal had faced another earthquake in September 2011 with its epicenter in the eastern part of Nepal. I was thinking of helping victims of the earthquake. After two weeks of the incident, the then Prime Minister of Nepal Dr. Baburam Bhattarai arrived in New York to participate in an event. I handed over one hundred thousand rupees for the earthquake victims through PM Bhattarai.
A Typhoon affected Japan on March 11, 2011. I donated one-week salary of mine to the victims. I sent $341 to the address of Japanese Prime Minister's office. Similarly, I helped $200 through NRN America to the victims of Haiti earthquake in 2010.
Donation to the Government
The duty of an aware citizen is to help its government to implement noble plan. With the same motivation, I had helped my government in some of the plans. I handed over one hundred and 25 thousand rupees (including 17 thousand from Drona Gauchan and eight thousand and five hundred from Dr.Bishnu Phuyal) to the Deputy Prime Minister Narayankaji Shrestha in 2010, while he was in New York tour, to provide free blood to the patient in 26 remote districts of Nepal.
I donated one hundred thousand rupees to the Prime Minister Relief Fund while Madhav Kumar Nepal visited New York as a Prime Minister in 2009. Previously, I had donated 50 thousands and 25 thousand rupees to the PM relief fund respectively in 2008 and 2010.
Support for Life Saver
25 years old Kalika Gharti of Gulariya, a city in Bardiya district of Nepal, saved lives of four children; two were her neighbors, stuck at the top of the tree for 25 hours when a devastating flood in 2071 BS swept away all the houses. Her husband was in India at that time when flood inundated the village. One neighbor swept away in the flood in front of her eyes. She grabbed her two children and two neighboring children and climb up in the tree. They were rescued after 25 hours.
I was inspired by the courageous story of Kalika and decided to support her. I sent 32 thousand rupees to the brave Kalika on August 18, 2014.
Support for Swine Flu Victim
Swine flu took 27 lives in Jajarkot, Nepal in 2071 BS. Hundreds of people in this area were affected. Reliefs were not easily reachable to this area as it is a remote area of Nepal. I discussed with Dinesh Jung Shah, who is a native of Jajarkot, to collect donations for the victims. I contributed 10 thousand rupees and we collected 2 hundred 38 thousand rupees in total and send it to victims.
Support for Dolma Lama
On August 16, 2008, I donated $300 to save Dolma Lama, a Nepali migrant woman who faced the death penalty in Kuwait. Nepalese all over the world were collecting blood money in order to release her from the Kuwait jail. She was sentenced to death on a murder charge, which she claims to be false. Not only her, so many Nepalese who work abroad, especially in the Arab nation, face difficulties due to language and cultural barrier.
Donation to Schools
I handed over one hundred thousand rupees to Khil Raj Regmi, the then chairman of Cabinet Council of Nepal, as a donation to Himalaya Secondary School of Kavre. Previously, I had donated 15 thousand rupees to the same school. I donate money to the schools with a desire that no child today should face difficulties like me to attend the classes. I used to walk to another village in my school days to attend the classes.
Below is the list of donation I provided to Different schools:
? Bhume Secondary School, Kavre Rs. 25,000
? Adarsa Bidhya Mandir HSS Rs. 25,000
? Roshi Higher Secondary School, Kavre Rs. 55,000
? Jorkati Lions Academy, Jorpati Rs. 25,000
? Mahendrodaya HSS (as a scholarship), Khotang Rs. 10,000
? Sayapatri Child Development Center, Dharan Rs. 15,000
? Padmodaya High School, Kathmandu Rs. 10,000
? Bal Kalyan HSS, Rukum Rs. 25,000
Donation to Homeless Women
Gyani Pariyar of Gulmi used to live inside the public toilet with her three children for five years. She has no home and relatives to assist. We can't even imagine how pathetic her life was. I donated 38 thousand rupees to her to assist in the education and food of her children.
Donation to Mother of Quadruplet
Bimaladevi Yadav, 30 years old, from Saptari district of Nepal, gave birth to four children at once. She was from a poor family so I was difficult for her to sustain her living. I donated 20 thousand rupees for the upbringing of the children.
Another Nepali woman from Rolpa had similar case. I donated 10 thousand rupees personally for the women and her children. Later, I sent 25 thousands rupees for the treatment of the children. I also collected one hundred thousand Nepalese rupees from other person and organization and send it to the family.
Donation to Rape Victim
Gita Pariyar of Gulmi district was providing shelter for a girl who was refuged by his father and abandoned by her mother. One day, her friend's father raped her while sleeping in his house. She was rescued in unconscious condition by locals and hospitalized in Palpa district hospital. I immediately sent 25 thousand rupees for her treatment. And, asked other people for the money to help her education and upbringing. Altogether, 62 thousand rupees were collected from Nepali living in different countries.
Similarly, 16-year-old Puja Bohora was gang raped while she was attending her School Leaving Certificate exams in Baitadi district. Two men made her unconscious and raped her. She was battling with mental illness after the incident. I sent her 10 thousand rupees as a support as her family was struggling financially for her treatment.
Donation for Pond Digging
Dipak Oli of Dang district was working in India with the aim of clearing his loan. Unfortunately, he lost his life while working on a construction site as the under construction building collapsed. He was the only breadwinner of his family. His death took his family into the unimaginable chaos. His wife was struggling to run her family and was asking for help. I donated 32 thousand personally to the family along with 20 thousand rupees that I had collected from my two friends.
Couldn't Save Dr. Chitra Prasad Wagle
Dr. Chitra Prasad Wagle was born in the remote village of Arghakhachi district. After completing his study he dedicated his life serving the people of remote villages. Later, it was found out that he had appendix cancer. He spent 14 months in Rajiv Gandhi Hospital in India for the treatment. The hospital advised him to go to America for further treatment. But, Dr. Wagle's family couldn't afford the money for the treatment in America. I started initiation to collect money for his further treatments. I contributed 10 thousand rupees at first and altogether we couldn't collect one hundred and 13 thousand rupees, which we deposited in his account. But, that money couldn't be used for the treatment as he passed away after few days we deposited the money. This incident left me shattered.
Donation For Mahabir Pun's Initiation
Mahabir Pun, Magsaysay Prize Winner, has given his best to connect Nepal's remote villages with wireless technology. He attended the annual conference of Association of Nepalese in America in 2008. He said that he had started 'One Dollar initiation' to collect money for a project. I handed him one thousand dollars as a donation to the project.
Help for Pregnant Woman in Mugu
A pregnant woman in Mugu was battling for her life in Mugu district hospital. Her husband, who is visually impaired, was asking for help for her treatment. She needed 4 pints of blood and some money for the treatment. I donated her 25 thousands rupees as I heard the story. It gave me great pleasure that some army personnel donated blood to save her life.
Help for Acid Attack Victim
In 2015, a school-girl in Kathmandu suffered an acid attack in Kathmandu. I decided to help her in order to make her feel that there are people who support her. I helped her 20 thousand rupees. My journalist friend Suraj Kunwar helped me to hand over the money. Later, so many people and organization started helping her and family. After 23 days of the incident, police caught the culprit.
My Several Donations and Help
On April 2014, I donated 25 thousand rupees for the fire victims of Rautahat district.
On June 2013, Flood after several days of rain affected the lives of people living in the far western area of Nepal. Especially, Darchula district was affected badly and people were facing scarcity of food and fear of plague after the disaster. So, I donated $351 through Association of Nepalese in America.
Help for Pregnant Woman
Manoj Kumar Khadka of Udaypur district married Srijana Karki of Sindhuli. Both of them had the poor family background. Srijana started battling with her mental disorder after some months of marriage. Seeing no option around her husband Manoj tightened her with rope in the home and ran away to India for work. She was pregnant at that time. Several parts of her body were infected with wounds. She spent her several months with same fate.
I felt very bad seeing her plight through the news. I remembered my old days when I didn't have enough money to run my family; I even had to struggle to manage good diet for my pregnant wife. I sent 35 thousand rupees for Srijana on the same day I received my salary.
After few days, some social volunteers rescued Srijana from her home and took her to the hospital. She gave birth to a baby during her treatment. After six months of treatment, Srijana is living a normal life in her home at Udayapur.
A Helpless Husband
Krishna Bahadur Magar from Gulmi and his wife Hima Magar worked as daily wage labor. They had three children. They were sustaining their living working in the construction field. All of a sudden an unexpected misery changed the trail of their lives when Hima fell down from a tree sustaining an injury in her body. Hima used to cry with pain every day but husband Krishna couldn't do anything for her as he did not have money for her treatment. Disturbed Krishna one-day attempted suicide in order to be free from the misery. Luckily, his neighbor took him to the hospital and saved his life.
This miserable story of the couple broke my heart. I decided to help them with whatever I could. At first, I wanted to buy them some land to generate regular income source for their family. But, I didn't have enough money so I decided to send whatever I had at that time. I sent them two hundred thousand rupees. With the help of some local people, Krishna took Hima to Kathmandu for her treatment but sadly she couldn't survive.
Sources of Income for Social Work
The Source of expenses I did for the social cause is my job. I have spent till date is from my regular income. I even took the loan from 401 K plan, personal loan from credit union to help in difficulty of community people and to travel to different countries for blood donation initiative. My wife also works here in America so I don't have hitches to run the house.
Some of my friends even advised me to take the grant from an international organization for this initiation but I don't think it's a good idea to take a grant to contribute to others. We should contribute, whatever we have, to the needy people. Even my family members have told me so many times to save money for the future. But, I couldn't stop myself from helping whenever I see people with problems.