‘Blood man’ of Kashmir has donated 140 pints in 34 years

By Mudassir Kuloo | JAN 2016 

For Shabir Hussain Khan, the key ingredient to make happiness out of life’s menu, is not available in the market, it is within. At 47, he has made a ritual of donating his blood four to five times a year.
Khan, who first donated blood in 1980 at the age of 13, has since donated 140 pints of blood, a mark of distinction he holds in his native state, Kashmir. Khan has been giving a part of his life for the last 35 years and according to him, he is determined to donate blood till he attains the age of 65.
“It has not affected my health but gives me immense satisfaction that my blood is saving lives,” said Khan, who earns his living by working on paper mache.
A resident of Alie Kadal of Old City Srinagar, besides donating blood, he has been running an awareness campaign, convincing people to follow him. He has established an NGO which has been organising blood donation camps across the valley.
Khan has also donated blood in New Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and in various parts of India. In 2004, he spent over two months in tsunami affected areas for blood donation and helped in collecting blood.
“There is no concept of mobile blood donation camps in Kashmir. Those who are voluntarily donating blood are not getting any support from the government except Rs 10 as refreshment from AIDS control organisation,” he said with a sign of lament.
He was also invited by Mother Teresa to Calcutta in 1998, who appreciated his work. Despite that, the government in Jammu and Kashmir did not recognise his deeds.

“I regret that government is yet to acknowledge me,” he said, having been ignored for the state award. “These awards are reserved for people having political affiliations,” he regretted.


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