In an attempt to bridge the gap between people who are urgently in need of blood and potential blood donors, Facebook is rolling out a new feature in India. The feature will go live on October 1 that is National Blood Donation day. This simplistic, yet effective feature was devised by Indian product developer Hema Budaraju, who came up with the idea as part of an internal hackathon.
Hema Budaraju came up with this idea because of a personal experience. Budaraju's father was diagnosed with cancer five years ago and had to go blood transfusions almost every week. Hema and her family had to reach out to donors almost every week that led her to conceive this idea at the hackathon.
In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned that this feature is a reminder to people like Hema that people are always willing to help, they just need the resources. Zuckerberg also shed light on the situation of blood donors and blood banks in the country. "Every week across India, there are thousands of posts from people seeking blood donations. Like many countries, India doesn't always have enough donors to provide everyone with reliable access to safe blood," he wrote.
Once the feature rolls out, users will be sent a prompt to register as a donor, information they can make public or keep as private. People in need will be then able to request blood by generating a post. That particular post will notify donors in the area, who can then contact the person in need through Facebook, Messenger or WhatsApp.
In a country that has around 24 crore Facebook users, the feature will come in handy to a lot of people and will make saving lives slightly easier.