'Organ'ised moksha

Lucknow

Unlike many others from his community, Shukla did not want his children to consign his mortal remains to flames in accordance with the traditional Hindu rituals. Instead he wanted to serve the humanity even after his death and was certain that he would attain ‘moksha’.

Shattering the myth that one could attain ‘moksha’ only when one’s body is cremated in accordance with the Hindu rituals, Shukla told his children to donate his body for medical research to the Lucknow based Chatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Medical University.

Shukla's son Avanindra and daughter-in-law Samidha have also pledged to donate their bodies to the varsity after their death. “Donating body is the biggest salvation”, Avanindra says.

“There is a myth among the Hindus that if not cremated in a traditional manner, the spirit of the dead roams on the earth and is not able to attain salvation”, head of the varsity’s anatomy department, Prof A K Srivastava told Deccan Herald.

“The myth is disappearing fast...many Hindu families are coming forward to donate the bodies of their near and dear ones for medical research”, Srivastava says.

The anatomy professor, however, said that the level of reluctance to donating bodies among the Muslims was more than any other community. “But they are also now coming forward”, he added.

The families are donating the bodies of the mentally challenged people and little children also, he said. “Only a few days back we received the cadaver of a mentally challenged girl, who had died of TB”, he said.

Keeping in mind the religious sensitivities of the donors’ families, the varsity has entered into an agreement with a religious organisation, which arranges for holding ‘puja’ and ‘yajna’ (a ritual by fire) and collecting flowers symbolically inside the department, he said.
“As many as 19 donations have taken place here during the past five years, while over 500 people have registered for donating bodies”, Srivastava said.

Varsity doctors, however, lamented that the families of “brain dead” people were still not coming forward to donate organs. Renal transplant surgeon at Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Prof Rakesh Kapoor said  there is a committee for overseeing non-related transplantation but the surgeon does not get any protection if the donor complains that the organ has been taken away without his consent.

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Organs-for-affection only!

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