Hyderabad: For Mahesh Talari, the zeal to be involved in social work was something that came to him when he was a child, as his father was elected as the sarpanch of M Turkapally.
“After my father passed away in an accident, my mother became the sarpanch and seeing their activities made me want to work for people,” shares Mahesh, who started volunteering with various NGOs right from the time he was in school.
Having been involved in the Telangana movement in the early 2010s while pursuing the Bachelor’s in Bhongir, he used to visit Hyderabad often and started volunteering in NGOs like Shraddha Foundation, the UNICEF and the WHO. After he started working for a pharmaceutical company, he was introduced to NGOs that are into blood donation. He started coordinating with them, specifically to provide blood to Thalassemia patients who need consistent transfusions.
“I started coordinating with volunteers and have been conducting blood donation camps since 2015, with a focus on Thalassemia victims,” he says.
It was after the nationwide lockdown in March 2020 that his efforts and zeal helped victims more than ever, as there were no donation camps (the way they are usually conducted by the NGOs) and he was requested by the Thalassemia and Sickle Cell Society (TSCS) to organise camps.
“My connections with the Police Department paid off during the lockdown, as I was able to request IPS officers VC Sajjanar and Mahesh M Bhagwat to enable me to conduct blood donation drives,” says Mahesh, who managed to collect almost 10,000 units of blood from various parts of the city during the lockdown.
The Commissioners of Cyberabad and Rachakonda supported Mahesh in conducting the camps in the middle of the lockdown, and he could provide over 5,000 units of blood to the TSCS and a similar number to Gandhi and Osmania hospitals during that period.
“I received immense support from the two officers and also from every police station under their jurisdiction. In fact, the two officers even donated blood in the camps I conducted,” says the 27-year-old who was named Covid Warrior by the Cyberabad Commissionerate.
Mahesh was also involved hands-on in the flood-relief works in Hyderabad, Chennai and Kerala after the three cities saw devastating floods in 2020. In Hyderabad, the social entrepreneur, who runs a waste management company called Green Again, was out on the filed in flood-hit areas like Saroornagar, Chandrayangutta, Ramanthapur, etc, distributing food and other supplies.
Additionally, he has also been doing blanket donation drives for the homeless for over three years now and has donated over 10,000 blankets so far.
“We place donation baskets in gated communities and apartment complexes, and whatever warm clothing we receive, we donate to the needy. This year, we have a target of 5000 blankets and have managed 3,000 so far,” shares Mahesh, whose company works with various municipalities across Telangana, training sanitation workers on waste management in addition to conducting awareness workshops.
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