A Kashmiri Pandit and a Kashmiri Muslim have come together to help people afflicted with Covid-19 in Delhi-NCR. Delhi-based food entrepreneur Sanjay Raina and 19-year-old journalism student Adnan Shah from J&K together run @PlasmaNCR handle on Twitter where people put out requests for plasma and the handle amplifies them till a match is found.
Raina and Shah have been making about 150 matches daily since they started the handle on April 18. “Daily we receive 250-300 plasma requests from Delhi-NCR and from cities like Agra, Meerut, Chandigarh and even some from Kashmir,” said Shah.
Scrolling down the handle, there are request after request for plasma in a set format patient name, age, blood, contact and exact location. “We rely only on Twitter to get requests. We are constantly creating a list of donors with our own contact base — neighbours, friends, professional contacts or social media contacts. At times, we have to personally go to pick up and drop plasma,” said Raina who runs a gourmet Kashmiri cuisine service in Delhi, and also runs a restaurant here.
Shah is a journalism student in Delhi but is originally from Kupwara in Kashmir. He and Raina got together to help a common Kashmiri friend find a hospital bed when Covid cases started rising in April. “But then we saw the scale of the disaster and put our heads together to think how we could help. There were a lot of requests for ICU beds, cylinders etc and plasma requests were getting lost in the larger clamour. So, we decided to focus on helping out with one thing — plasma,” said Shah.
Raina and Shah said they are up almost 20 hours a day. Finding a match is not easy. Often donors get rejected for not having enough antibodies. “We have to find more matches and see what fits the needs of a patient,” said Raina.
The handle has now got Apollo’s Dr Sameer Kaul onboard for free consultations.