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Woman Duo on a Ride to Promote Voluntary Blood Donation

Thiruvananthapuram: The idea of a cross-country trip occurred to the two female two-wheeler riders, Tuna Bastian and Sajna Ali, after they completed a trip from Kochi to Kashmir on a scooter last September. In the cross-country trip also the dynamic duo departed from the convention of using bikes and instead picked scooter as their preferred

Thiruvananthapuram: The idea of a cross-country trip occurred to the two female two-wheeler riders, Tuna Bastian and Sajna Ali, after they completed a trip from Kochi to Kashmir on a scooter last September. In the cross-country trip also the dynamic duo departed from the convention of using bikes and instead picked scooter as their preferred vehicle. But what is unique is the humane cause behind their ride. The objective of ‘Ride 4 Blood’ is to promote Voluntary Blood Donation (VBD) to help achieve 100 percent self-sufficiency in VBD across all major government hospitals in India by 2020. It also aims at making various stakeholders/public accountable in this regard and mobilizing people/organisations working in the field of blood donation.

The objective of ‘Ride 4 Blood’ is to promote Voluntary Blood Donation (VBD) to help achieve 100 per cent self-sufficiency in VBD across all major government hospitals in India by 2020. It also aims at making various stakeholders/public accountable in this regard and mobilizing people/organisations working in the field of blood donation.

The trip was flagged off by Dr. Rajasree M S, Vice-chancellor, APJ Abdul Kalam Techonological University of Kerala, at Kanakakunnu Palace premises on April 21. “Every day, the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in Thiruvananthapuram needs 500–600 units of blood. With the blood shortage reaching high levels, this trip will also highlight the need to push up the national average in VBD to new levels,” said Sajna Ali. It all started in 2016 when Tuna Bastian met Sajna Ali during a trip organised by Appooppanthaadi, a city-based, all-women travel group started by Sajna Ali. She floated the group after resigning from a Technopark-based company where she was working as a software engineer. Later, they together travelled to many destinations and became the first women duo from Kerala to undertake a long-distant trip on a scooter.

Appooppanthaadi has more than 1500 members from all over the world. Trips are being organised every week by selecting eight buddies. Kozhikode-based Sajna Ali, an avid traveller, and founder of Appooppanthaadi, is a member of a blood donation forum, Tejus, founded by the techies at Technopark. The forum makes the best use of the latest technologies and existing networks in providing a common platform for the blood donors of the country. Tuna Bastian, an Ernakulam-based investigation officer at Star Health Insurance Company Ltd., started following her passion for travel from the age of 13 years.

Initially, the pair thought of undertaking ‘Ride 4 Blood’ on an Avenger bike but later decided to use a TVS Enduro scooter for the trip. The duo will be halting at 20 different locations in as many states during their trip covering 10,000 km. They will not only spread awareness about VBD but also about the benefits of blood donation. They will urge the women folk to come forward and donate blood as the numbers of female blood donors are very low at present. The journey which started from Thiruvananthapuram will end in Amritsar in Punjab after which they will return to the Kerala capital, taking a total of 20 days. “The ‘Ride 4 Blood’ is sponsored by Terumo Penpol while the arrangements for their stay are being made by Kerala Blood Donors Society and Federation of Indian Blood Donors Organisations,” according to Tuna Bastian.

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