The idea of creating a platform for connecting plasma donors and receivers was a thought that erupted in the time of personal crises for Delhi-based entrepreneur Adwitya Mal. Then he roped in his friend Mukul Pahwa, a London-based software consultant on the idea and that's how 'Dhooondh' (find) was launched.
Dhoondh.com connects current COVID patients with recovered COVID patients who wish to donate plasma.
Mal said in an interview with India Today, "We went live with Dhoondh.com on June 11 after my father-law was infected with COVID-19." He said the idea emerged to him when he realised there must be many like him who're going through the same hell that his family went through in looking for a potential donor.
Pahwa said, "It was obvious to us that this will be a problem for other people too so we decided to help them."
Mal and Pahwa were the first to start such an initiative in the capital, even before the Delhi government, which launched its Plasma bank in July.
Both the founders said that the response from volunteers has been tremendous. Mal said that initially they invested about Rs 5 lakhs into the website. However, it got much bigger quite fast than they anticipated, so they're making further investments to make sure that it continues to serve its purpose.
Mal said, "These are unprecedented times and we are practically in a war like situation against this virus and all of us need to do whatever we can."
However, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) recently warned against indiscriminate use of convalescent plasma therapy (CPT) for treating COVID-19 patients. Pahwa clarified that he's not encouraging plasma therapy but only intends to connect people who need plasma with donors on doctor's advice.