Policeman notches century of a different kind

- June 14, 2023
| By : Muhammad Tahir |

Constable Ravindar Dhariwal has donated blood for the 100th time and wants to continue till he reaches at least 400 to match ex-cricketer Brian Lara

PARTNERS IN ACT: Ravinder Dhariwal’s wife Anju Rani recently donated blood for the first time

Late last month, when Delhi Police constable Ravindar Dhariwal donated his blood for the 100th time, he put an asterisk – signifying not out in cricketing terminology – against the number. He says he is 100*.

The 31-year-old is hoping to continue donating till it reaches at least 400 times and matches former West Indian batsman Brian Lara’s 400*, which is the highest individual score in a Test innings. 

“I started writing ‘not out’ against my blood donations as I wanted to match Brian Lara’s record of 400*. So, my aim is to donate 400 times,” said Dhariwal, who also motivates and encourages colleagues and relatives. 

He started donating blood in 2016 after being moved by the accident victims he’d take to hospitals for treatment. 

“In 2016, I was posted in south Delhi’s Kotla Mubarakpur thana. I used to visit AIIMS and other hospitals for accident victims’ medico-legal cases (MLC). I saw the vulnerable situation of patients there, and was upset about it,” said Dhariwal, who joined Delhi Police in 2012.  

One of his friends, who had made a group of donors on social media, posted a request for blood donation on Facebook one day.

Dhariwal messaged him and requested to join the group. 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Dhariwal receiving an award from the department

“The first time I donated was in 2016, in a camp, which was organised in old police headquarters at ITO,” recalled the constable. 

“But I was not satisfied because I didn’t know where and when my blood would be used. But on December 1, 2016, the friend called me for an urgent blood donation for a patient in the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS). I went there and donated. After the donation, I met and talked to the victim’s family and felt very satisfied and thought I did something good.”

Group of blood donors in Delhi

However, the group was dealing with patients from Haryana as it was based there. Dhariwal lived in Delhi. He then created a group for blood donation in Delhi. 

“In December, 2016, I made a group ‘Delhi Police Jeevan Dayini’ on WhatsApp and Facebook with some friends and constables from Delhi. Our next challenge was how to motivate others to donate. So, I started clicking selfies of donations and sending them in groups,” added Dhariwal.  

Some people criticised them for showing off but the constable and his friends ignored such criticism and continued their work. 

Dhariwal, who hails from Haryana’s Bhiwani district and is posted in Kingsway Camp in Delhi, said further, “The next challenge we faced was to connect with patients and the needy. So, we started to give our contact to hospitals and asked them to contact us in case of any requirements. We also posted about our donation on Facebook. People also contact us from there.” 

Explaining the process, Dhariwal said, “When we add a person in a group, we mention their blood group and areas, such as ‘x man’, A+, ITO. It helps in connecting. For example, if a patient is needed in AIIMS, we send it in the group and also call our AIIMS area member, so that he can easily go and donate and patients can get blood quickly.”

There were not even 10 members at the start but gradually the group grew in size. There are 900 policemen now and over 600 others such as teachers, CISF personnel and others associated with the group. 

“As members increased, so did our reach and calls of donations. Now, apart from Delhi, we also have some members in Noida, Ghaziabad and if anyone needs help in NCR, we can help. Also, our network has spread on all-India level and we have helped a patient in Jalandhar (Punjab) too. I haven’t met 90% of the group members. We only know each other via WhatsApp and Facebook but they are ready to donate on a call. We have tried to meet the demands as much as we could. Some relatives have even asked me to organise a camp in their area,” added Dhariwal. 

Acknowledgement from office

For his humanitarian work, Delhi Police has also praised Dhariwal. 

CERTIFIED: A letter of appreciation from Delhi Police

On May 27, Delhi Police tweeted a picture of Dhariwal with the text: “One donation can save up to three lives. #DelhiPolice Constable Ravinder Dhariwal is a regular blood donor and today, he made his 100th donation. We truly appreciate your service to society and humanity. @DelhicopRvndr #HeroesOfDelhiPolice.”

Dhariwal’s team did commendable work during Covid-19 and despite difficulties, they managed to donate plasma and blood to hundreds of patients. 

“It was very tough during the Covid pandemic in 2020. People couldn’t go out of their homes, so they could not go to the hospital for donation. When this problem came to the notice of senior officers, the Commissioner of Delhi Police released an order that if anyone has a demand letter from the hospital, the police won’t stop him. Because, at that time, people needed not only blood but plasma too. People also hesitated in donating plasma because they were suffering. I used to make several calls but hardly one or two were ready to donate. One day, I received around 500 calls for plasma. During Covid-19, our group donated more than 200 plasma and more than 1,000 units of blood. Overall, our team has donated over 11,000 units of blood till now.”
On the World Blood Donor Day last year ( June 14, 2022)
, the Commissioner of Police, Rakesh Asthana officially adopted the team and organised blood donation camps in various areas of Delhi.

“More than 1,400 units of blood were donated that single day. On 27 May 2023, I donated for the 100th time at the Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital to a 12-year-old thalassemia patient,” added Dhariwal. 

Family chips in too

“My wife Anju Rani said that she also wants to donate. She recently donated blood for the first time. My mother, who used to object initially, and elder sister also donate. My family, staff and friends all support and praise me for this work. Last month, Special Commissioner of Police Robin Hibbu rewarded me with an appreciation letter and 11,000 rupees for this work. I continue to donate. Earlier, people could donate till 62 years but the age has been extended to 65 now.”

BIG TARGET: Ravinder Dhariwal wants to complete at least 400 donations

His wife Anju Rani said that she got inspired by her husband. 

“When he donated, we felt good. Motivated by him, I also donated for the first time along with him and am feeling good,” Anju told Patriot over phone. 

Dhariwal has appealed to people to donate blood and is willing to guide them in trying donation.  

“I want to give a message to all — ek baar karke dekho, acchha lagta hai (try doing it once, you will feel great). If anyone thinks that you will become weak after donation, you could meet and see me. I got self-satisfaction by doing this. I also thank God that he has given me courage to do it and also thank colleagues and friends who are with me on this journey,” Dhariwal concluded.