“People’s participation and people’s awareness is the key for encouraging organ donation.” This was stated by Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare on the occasion of ‘9th Indian Organ Donation Day’, organised by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO). Choubey also administered the pledge to the participants to donate organs. Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. C. Vijaya Baskar, Minister of Health, Government of Tamil Nadu, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health), Dr. R.K. Vats, Addl. Secretary and Dr S. Venkatesh, DGHS, were also present at the event. In his address, Choubey further said that many myths and misconceptions surround organ donation. He stated that very often, organ donation gets discouraged on the basis of superstitions. Choubey urged the people to come forward for organ donation without any fear. He said, “I salute all those who have shown courage to donate organ of their near and dear ones, and shown us a direction to emulate this brave act.”
Speaking at the function, Anupriya Patel stated that “When seen from the perspective of reason and rationale, the gift of life is the ultimate gift that one could give and organ donation is, therefore, a ‘God like act’ and needs to be encouraged.” She further said that it is important to understand that in India it is mainly the living donors who are donating organs and only about 23 percent of the organ transplant is being done with organs obtained from the cadavers. “There is a need to promote cadaver or deceased organ donation rather than relying on living donors in order to avoid the risk of commercial trading of organs and also to avoid the inherent risk to the health of the living donor, Anupriya Patel added. Dr. C. Vijaya Baskar, Minister of Health, Government of Tamil Nadu, expressed happiness at the announcement of Tamil Nadu being adjudged the Best State in Organ Donation for the fourth time in a row. He highlighted the exemplary work that Tamil Nadu had done in retrieving organs from donors; and had been the first state in India for various initiatives like mandatory certification of Brain Stem Death, streamlining organ distribution and setting up green corridors.
Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health), applauded the donor families and congratulated the state of Tamil Nadu for leading the nation in the field of organ donation. She urged the people to tell their near and dear ones about their willingness to donate organs so that it can be done smoothly after they are gone. “Gift life after life, let’s make life better even after we are dead,” she said. At the event, the Ministers felicitated the families of deceased organ donors from various parts of the country. The best performing State of Tamil Nadu was also felicitated. The State of Maharashtra received an award for being the best State for promoting awareness on organ donations. Dr Subramania Iyer K, AIMS, Kochi was felicitated for conducting first hand transplant in the country and Dr Shailesh Puntambekar, Pune, received the award for conducting 1st Uterine Transplant in India. Special awards were also given to the collaborating institutions and organizations at the awards ceremony. Also present at the event were senior officers from BSF, CRPF and the students and representatives of various development organizations. – PIB