Mumbai: On Christmas-eve, a 90 percent physically-challenged Mumbaikar has donated blood for the 76th time and gave what he terms "a gift of life" instead of just token X'mas presents.
Prakash M Nadar, 39, who was afflicted by polio during childhood, overcame his disabilities to launch a mission to eliminate blood shortage from the world with support of the Federation of Indian Blood Donors Organisations (FIBDO).
In this quest, he has been donating blood for the past 22 years regularly and made his 76th donation at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.
"I donate blood regularly four times a year and now I am making an attempt to donate blood in each state of India to increase awareness of the importance of blood donation. Kerala is the 10th state where I have donated blood today and shall cover all Indian states in the next few years," said Nadar from Kerala.
He said FIBDO President K P Rajagopalan encouraged him in the all-India endeavour and also accompanied him to Kerala.
To mark Christmas eve, Nadar, attired in a Santa Claus costume, donated blood amid cheers by the hospital staffers and well wishers this afternoon.
Born in a middle class family and struck by polio at an early age, Nadar overcame all hurdles to attend a special school, Society for Education for the Crippled, in Agripada, south Mumbai.
Nadar took to the mission of donating blood after he saw his father pass away for need of blood. This spurred Nadar to join a NGO and propagate the importance of blood donation. He organised blood donation camps and himself took the lead by donating blood every three months, as stipulated under the law.
Besides, he has also donated seven times to people in dire need of blood and to blood banks, set up a NGO Pehchan Charitable Trust and inspired a team of 38 physically-challenged volunteers to assist him in the blood donation cause.
Nadar grabbed headlines two years ago when he completed a 42-km long swimathon from Gateway of India to Raigad and back on International Women's Day (2013), adding to his impressive tally of 81 gold, 29 silver and 27 bronze medals bagged at various sporting meets across India.
"If a person like me who is 90 percent disabled can donate blood, why can't all healthy people of India do...It can save many precious lives," a proud Nadar said.