While Prakash Manik Kanade lay on the bed in a small clinic in Nasik donating plasma, he could not ignore the wall to his left which had a scene from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, a brilliant collection of stories set in the forests of Pench in central India. In the scene, Mowgli (not Tarzan) is seen chatting with his adorable animal friends around him.
The Jungle Book was one of his favourites as a child, and he was reminded of the lines from the book “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”
Prakash is an area sales manager for Samsung India in Nashik. His family had just recovered from Covid in mid-March when an acquaintance asked him if he would donate plasma that another patient required. He and his family were hesitant, but after taking advise from doctors about there being no side effects, he was here in this clinic donating.
“These lines from the book kind of spoke to me. I thought I had to help the pack,” he says.
That is when Prakash decided to go beyond just donating plasma himself to motivating others as well.
When he joined many social media and instant messenger groups that were helping people, he figured there were many misconceptions about donating. He and a group of friends then worked to clarify those misconceptions, tying up with a local radio channel and with blood banks. Weeks later, the multiple instant messenger groups now have over 3,000 people who are eager to help.
Over the last month and a half, Prakash and his friends have got over 200 people to donate plasma, helping more than 300 patients with plasma when they needed it.
“I would get calls at 2 am from people who were standing outside a blood bank. The bank required them to come with a plasma donor in exchange for processed plasma. That is not always possible for caregivers of patients in need,” he says. This is where the tie-ups with blood banks helped.
“We would call the blood bank or its owner and tell them to provide the plasma in lieu of the donors they had sent earlier, and also a promise to send more donors soon.”
It clicked. “I was fortunate my family came out unscathed. I just wanted to help others,” he adds.
So when a Samsung employee’s friend who had recently moved to Nashik got infected, Prakash was there to help. Through the network he had built, he spread the word around and got an ICU bed for the employee’s friend who was critical.
Prakash helped the Covid positive family with food, arranged plasma for the husband, and called the wife multiple times a day to ensure she remained strong.
“Medical support is one thing, but what many require in such times is moral support. I wanted to assure her that she and her children were not alone in the city,” he says.
No wonder Prakash Manik Kanade has become the go-to person for the Samsung team and many others in the community in Nasik when anyone needs a hospital bed, medicines, oxygen or plasma.
Stories such as these inspire us at Samsung. Don’t we say, Do What You Can’t!
(Please note: Plasma donation should be done only at the advice of a certified medical practitioner)