The Organ Donation Awareness Cycle Ride organized by the Rotary Club of Fort Cochin and Kochi-based cycling club 'Born Wanderers' started off a cycle rally at 6:30am on August 23 covering a distance of 15kms in Kochi. More than 100 cyclists rode through the streets of Kochi on August 23 to promote and raise awareness on organ donation.
Participants of the rally were from all walks of life. Women, children and also older individuals lined up along with semi-professional cyclists, under the motto of 'you don't have to be a doctor to save lives'.
"I am a cyclist. This is what I love to do. And doing it for a cause like organ donation makes it all the more special. Kudos to Born Wanderers for making this happen," said Kiran, one of the riders who was part of the event. Close to 110 riders participated in the rally, following which the participants attended an interactive session at the The Brunton Boatyard.
"Born Wanderers have organized several rides for a cause in the past. The idea of conducting an organ donation ride has been in our minds for a long time. We are delighted we finally made it happen and that so many people turned up to make it a success," said Sanjay Asher, who co-ordinated the event.
Dr Prakash Chandran, an activist for organ donation, discussed the virtues of the cause and answered queries related to the subject. "A single donor can provide organs which can benefit half-a-dozen persons or more," Dr Chandran pointed out. "Most people are under the impression that donating organs mean desecrating the donor's body but that's a completely wrong notion."
"The biggest challenge we face is making a person's relatives say "yes" to a donation request. We work within a limited time frame and the emotional circumstances make matters difficult. That's why raising awareness on the matter is of paramount importance," he stressed.
After the event, majority of the riders signed up for organ donation and took a pledge to support the cause.