Bilqees Aara, a Kashmiri hero, has selflessly saved hundreds of lives through her blood donations

Bilqees Aara, known as the “Blood Woman” of Kashmir, has donated 35 pints of blood since 2012, earning her this distinction.

“Blood donation is not my profession as I am an accredited Aasha worker but donating blood on a voluntary basis is my passion. Our religion teaches us that saving one life is equivalent to saving the entire universe,” says Bilqees Aara.

Reflecting on her first donation experience, Bilqees recalls, “One of my relatives had sustained injuries and she was in immediate need of blood. I volunteered and saved her life. That was a turning point in my life as on that day I took a pledge to help the people who need blood at crucial times. And I have kept up the promise that I had made to myself.”

She notes the evolution in blood donation methods, stating, “From 2012 till 2024, people who needed blood used to give advertisements in newspapers or make an announcement through Radio and TV. But after the advent of the internet the time changed as the flow of information became rapid and fast paced. Now, people who need blood reach out to donors through social media within no time. People getting connected has helped in saving many precious lives.”

Expressing disappointment over the lack of recognition from the government, Bilqees says, “If the government wants the culture of blood donation to continue in Kashmir then it should encourage the volunteers by devising some special schemes for them like providing them with an insurance cover and ration cards.”

On her dietary habits, Bilqees remarks, “I come from a middle-class family and cannot afford expensive food items like dry fruits and other protein rich foods.”

Despite donating blood every three months, Bilqees insists she has never felt any deficiency. “Blood donation makes no one weak. The conditions for donating blood are that a person should be above 40 kgs, should not be suffering from any ailments and should not be involved in substance abuse.”

“I want to keep on donating blood till I turn 65-years old. Becoming a blood donor is a divine gift and no one can achieve this feat without Allah’s will,” she adds.

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