Ramesh Jeke: A beacon of hope

Dear Editor,
This is an appreciation letter for the selfless work being done by Ramesh Jeke in making the state self-sufficient in blood-related activities.
If one is in Itanagar, chances are that one may catch a glimpse of a scooter adorned with the graffito, ‘Donate blood, save someone’s life’, and sometimes the same scooter can be seen zipping past traffic with two children as pillion riders. The scooter rider is none other than Ramesh Jeke, and the pillion riders are two of the many orphaned and abandoned boys and girls he has sheltered over the years. And more probably than not, he is zipping fast to provide for someone’s call for an urgent blood unit.
Jeke is a state gold medal awardee; the founder-cum-chairman of the Arunachal Voluntary Blood Donors Organization (a unit of the Arunachal Vivekananda Yuva Shakti); president of the Junior Red Cross Society, AP; assistant secretary-general of the All India Blood Federation; and a governing member of the state blood transfusion council (government of AP). All this he has achieved by his sheer will and determination, and at a tender age of 27 years. When at such age everybody is hankering after a government job, here’s a young person who has completely presented a different outlook to life, a life of sacrifice and service to the society.
I, too, met him because I had a medical emergency and a close friend suggested to me his name. In the course of our meeting, I got to know about the selfless work he is putting in to collect blood units for the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh.
I remember the times when blood donation was considered a taboo in our society. How he has worked tirelessly to remove the apprehensions, and in the process organized hundreds of blood donation camps across the length and breadth of AP, is highly commendable. Because of his pioneering efforts, blood availability is not much of a problem in the state.
The lesser known fact to the outside world is that, because of his continuous efforts in organizing blood donation camps, his NGO was appreciated by foreigners (how ironical!) and they pooled in money and gifted his NGO with a blood separation component unit and shipped it all the way from foreign shores, which is now proudly placed at the RK Mission Hospital (RKMH) for all to avail the facilities that include separation of various components of blood.
Earlier, for such test and availability of various blood components, the hospitals had to procure it from Kolkata, Mumbai, etc, which was a time consuming and cumbersome process for all. The importance and the cost factor involved in installation of such a machine is the fact that the much regarded TRIHMS, Naharlagun, is still to get one operational.
The state per se is now blood sufficient because of the path-breaking efforts of this young man. Seeing his success, many other NGOs have chipped in with their blood donation camps, which is praiseworthy.
He looks after the old and the ailing who are left at RKMH by their relatives. At the last count, he was sheltering some 6-8 orphaned boys and girls too. Ask him about how he manages to look after them and where the capital comes from, and he shrugs it aside nonchalantly and says, “god provides,” but adds that there are days which seems bleak, but then some good Samaritans inadvertently turn up.
Last heard, the scooter, too, was donated by a good Samaritan, former CM late Kalikho Pul. And as we are conversing, his phone rings incessantly, which, by the way, is also a donated one.
Our society is full of such magnanimous persons. It’s time we made their contributions come to the limelight.
In Ramesh Jeke, I for one have found a beacon of hope for the society and have become a lifelong fan. Let’s give kudos where it is due.
Tato Paying