Bengaluru: Madhura Ashok Kumar (59) from Bengaluru has created a Guinness World Record by donating blood for an unbelievable 117 times. Her motto in life is to create awareness among women to donate blood.
Speaking to IANS, Madhura said that women, in general, are apprehensive about donating blood as they fear loss of hemoglobin and disruptions in menstrual cycles.
“Hence, to give a message to the society, I took up the mission myself. I generally donate blood three times a year. In case of emergencies, I donated blood four times in a year as well,” she said.
“I did not plan for the Guinness Record. Blood cannot be donated for creating records. The health must remain intact. I think the upbringing I had courtesy my parents blessed me with good health till date. I did not expect this recognition at all. My father and father-in-law are both freedom fighters. I wanted to contribute to the society and it came through donation of blood,” Madhura said.
Madhura donated blood for the 100th time at her husband’s place in Shiralakoppa in Shivamogga District. Mediapersons present there suggested that this could be a record.
“Then my friends documented the blood donations year-wise. Later, officials from the Guinness World Record were approached. I donated blood for 117th time in the premises of Sri Siddaganaga Mutt to create the Guinness World Record on June 9.
“The donation was made in front of 12,000 children at prayer time to create awareness among children about blood donation. Late pontiff Sri Shivakumara Swamiji always called me as a brand ambassador of blood donation,” she said.
Madhura, who hails from Sankeshwara in Belagavi District, started donating blood at the age of 18. One of her friends, who had come home for delivery, died due to non-availability of blood then.
She said that in those days, blood banks could be found only at the district headquarters. The villagers had to travel for 40-50 km and wait for hours to get blood, she said.
“Many people, especially pregnant women and children, sometimes died without getting blood. The death of my friend due to non-availability of blood moved me. That unfortunate incident motivated me to take up the service of donating blood,” she revealed.
Madhura’s father supported her wish to donate blood. She started by donating blood whenever it was required by her relatives. She would then get only a ‘Thank You’ message from the doctors, as there was no system of issuing a certificate back then.
She got married in 1986 and her association with the Red Cross Society in Bengaluru helped her realise that dialysis patients, those who suffer from cancer, accident victims, among others, are in constant need of blood.
“I appeal to the ladies to donate blood without any fear. Blood donation minimises the risk of heart diseases, it reduces cholesterol, and keeps me active. Along with personal benefits, the donated blood will help others as well,” she said.
Madhura added that after donating blood, the body regains the similar amount within 24 hours and there is no problem as such.
The mission of Madhura did not stop even during the Covid-19 pandemic. She donated blood thrice before getting vaccinated.
“During Covid, the colleges were closed. The major chunk of blood donation comes from youngsters. There was real dearth. I made a video to appeal that before getting vaccinated, the youngsters should donate blood,” she said.
Once vaccinated, an individual is not supposed to donate blood for a long period, she said.
“I shared the video on social media and ran a campaign in this regard as well,” she said.
Madhura wants to continue donating blood till the age of 65.
“I have done it for four decades, why not few years more,” she asked.
By M.K. Ashoka