The boards clung to their bicycles reads ‘donate blood, save life’. Carrying blankets to sleep on and plastic sheet to protect them from rain, Jaydeb Routh (47) and Sibli Bishara (22) started their journey from Kolkata to Kanyakumari on July 1 to create awareness on blood donation.

They made a halt the YMCA Youth Hostel after they entered the city on Tuesday evening. “Many people are dying for want of blood during health emergencies. What could be more noble to educate people to donate blood. After all, a simple step can save somebody’s life. We want to contribute to the cause,” says Jaydeb Routh.

The Jadavpur Youth Adventure Welfare Association, in association with the Indian Redcross Society, lend a helping hand for the expedition, he says.

Grim scenario

As per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s report released in 2016, there is a shortage of 11.5 lakh units of blood in the country, they explain.

Mr. Routh selected to spread awareness for blood donation. He met Mr. Bishara last year, when he was on his first nationwide cycle tour to campaign for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and requested the later if he could join him in his next expedition. And Mr. Mr. Bishara agreed.

“We cover 60 km to 70 km a day. We make pit stops at government schools, youth hostels, temples or police station,” they add. “We were informed about their arrival by the Bhubaneswar youth hostel. We introduced them to people who could help them financially for their journey,” says MDM Ibhrahim, secretary of YMCA Youth Hostel in the city.

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