You can give life even in your death

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Ask people about organ donation and they will give a thumbs-up at the first instance. But, ironically, when the time comes to do so how many actually sign up for organ donation? Hardly any.

Setting an example for Delhiites to follow, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung recently pledged to be an organ donor when he became a member of the Delhi Organ Retrieval and Sharing Organisation (DORSO).

His step highlighted the need for organ donation and enhance facilities for organ transplantation in our country.

Popular Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty too pledged to donate her eyes recently.

But leave aside celebrities and popular public figures, how many of us are even ‘interested’ in organ donation?

Dr Aditya Pradhan, senior consultant, renal transplant surgery, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, said, “Regional bias is quite prevalent in north India and there is no awareness about organ donation here. Religious leaders in south India help promote organ donation, unlike north India. According to them a body cannot be mutilated,” rues the doctor.

Also, people do not see organ donation as a philanthropic gesture. “Most people want something in return, which is strictly against the law. One can only ‘donate’ and cannot ‘sell’ their organs. In northern India, there are nearly 15 cadaveric transplants happening in a year, which is very less. Eye donation has become quite popular, but when it comes to kidney, heart and liver, people are still apprehensive,” he says.

Organ donation is removal of viable organs from a donor who is a brain dead individual and transplanting them to a recipient. Solid organs like heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and intestine can be donated. Other tissues like corneas, skin, bones, cartilages, etc. can also be donated.

However, one needs to note that one can donate solid organs only in case of brain death. In case of natural death or cardiac death only eyes and other tissues can be donated.

Dr Muneet Kaur, senior transplant coordinator, Multi Organ Harvesting Network (MOHAN) Foundation, an NGO which has an office in Delhi as well as other cities across the country, said, “Organ donation is still a relatively ‘underdeveloped’ concept in India, and people are still struggling with its moral, social, religious and other implications in the Indian context. One needs to understand that in the end, he or she could be gifting life to not one but several beneficiaries. One person can save upto eight-nine people’s lives. Lack of sensitisation and public awareness among the cross-section of the population and counsel families of brain dead victims to donate their loved ones’ organs is the need of the hour.”

“We emphasise on the fact that once anybody has pledged his/her organs it is important to let all the family members know of their wish and always carry their organ donation card with them. That card also has a number of the concerned person who can be contacted during any emergency situation of the donor. Also, often people are concerned about how the organs will be used and there is a fear that their organs might be sold,” added Dr Kaur voicing common fears amongst people.Indu Prakash Singh, a social activist is an example for the ‘organ donation conscious people’.

“I have been a voluntary blood donor ever since my college days. I have donated blood 30 odd times till now. And recently, I have pledged to donate one of my kidneys to a friend of mine. Jab ek se kaam chal sakta hai to dusra kisi or ko kyun nahi de sakte?

If you are healthy without any complications, why not donate organs. You will be saving someone’s life and also get blessings.”

“There is no culture of sharing in India, plus the complications created by the society. Even my mother scolded me the first time she heard about me donating blood. India me kidney toh door ki baat hai, log toh blood hi nahi dena chahte hai,” added Indu Prakash, whose first matching for kidney donation is done and is waiting for two more matchings before the actual procedure Neha Das

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