Communist stalwart Jyoti Basu's pledge to serve humanity continues to be fulfilled even after his death. His eyes which he pledged for donation were harvested by a team of specialists from Sushruth Eye Foundation shortly after his death at 11:47am at Salt Lake's AMRI Hospitals.
On April 4, 2003, India's longest serving chief minister Jyoti Basu pledged his body for organ donation while inaugurating a workshop organized by Gana Darpan, an NGO promoting organ donations. While pledging his body, Basu had said, "I don't know whether the organs of this old body of mine are still suitable for transplant. But I believe it may help medical students and researchers."
On Sunday after Jyoti Basu died, Left Front chairman Biman Bose informed Gana Darpan the late leader's body would be donated as per his wish and there was no opposition from his family.
Brojo Ray, general secretary of Ganadarpan, the NGO where most of the Communist leaders in Bengal have donated their bodies, said Basu's body could be used for medical research. Basu's body will be handed over to the anatomy department of a state-run hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday according to media reports.
Said Ray "As a nonagenarian, his vital organs will be of no use for transplantation. These organs could not be used even if he had not suffered multi-organ failure. But it can be used for medical research and education."
Other communist leaders who have pledged their bodies for donation include West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattachaya, Somnath Chatterjee, Left Front Chairman Biman Bose, State Health Minister Surya Kanta Mishra and Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya. The body of former Left Front Chairman Anil Biswas was also donated after his death in March 2006.