Sunday the 20th of September was a special day in the country's organ donation history.
Before going into the details of the day's events it would be appropriate to remind the readers of an unusual motor bike rally that was flagged off on 9.9.09 at 9.09 am - unusual not only with regard to the exclusive timing but also with regard to the cause that the rally endorsed- which was to generate awareness about organ donation across the state of Tamil Nadu, especially in its rural areas.
AdvertisementSunday's ceremony was to felicitate the six young volunteers who took part in the 'rally for life', riding 2000 kms, with a view to motivate the general public to indulge in the sanctimonious act of becoming an organ donor. These volunteers distributed over 3 lakh donor cards besides felicitating 25 donor families across the State.
A signature campaign had been kick started to accelerate organ donation by displaying an individual's status (donor or otherwise) on the driver's license. This signature collection was then handed over to the Transport Commissioner S. Machendranathan by the guest of honor -actor Revathy Menon.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Syed Munir Hoda , Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, who was also the chief guest, expressed the view that India could emulate the Spain and Iran model to speed up the momentum of organ donation. In Spain it is assumed that the organs of a deceased person were up for donation unless there is categorical dissent. As for Iran, incentives were used to promote organ donation - a move which seemed to be doing very well for them. Perhaps India could take a leaf or two out of these countries to redefine her organ donation movement.
Syed Hoda also suggested that the co-operation of religious heads must be sought to create awareness and to encourage the public to part with their organs. He said that training young doctors to judge correctly (when a person is brain dead) and to motivate the family of potential donors is also the need of the hour.
The managing Trustee of Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Networking (MOHAN) Foundation Dr.Sunil Shroff drew the attention of the audience to the grim situation prevailing in the country where diabetes and hypertension are vying with each other to sabotage the health scenario. He said that a sizable number of diabetic and hypertensive patients will need kidney transplants for survival; considering the paucity in donated organs from live donors it will only be sensible to create awareness and focus on the need for cadaver organ donation.
Among the several proposed ways to accelerate organ donation is the inclusion of the donor clause in the national ID card, Drivers' license, Insurance Card and Pharmacy Cards.
Revathy Menon said that people willing to donate their organs needed to convince their family members who would have to carry out the donor's wish.
As a fitting end- note I borrow from the speech of the chief guest who said that Emperor Alexander requested to be buried with his arms open. On asking why he wished so, the great conqueror said that he wanted to convey the message that even Alexander the Great had to go back empty handed.
One deceased person can rejuvenate nine lives. You may not have the resources to donate while alive but you certainly have, after you die!
Organs wasted are lives lost. ....
Become a Organ donor!
Dr. Reeja Tharu/L
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