Dadhichi Deh Daan Samiti, an organisation that has been working on spreading awareness about the importance of organ donation for the last 25 years, launched a nation-wide campaign on the issue late last yesterday.
The decision was taken during a two-day all-India Swasth Sabal Bharat conclave held at Palika Kendra in New Delhi. As many as 46 NGOs from 22 states across India participated in the conclave.
Ruing an utter lack of awareness about organ donation, Samiti Patron Advocate Anil Kumar stated that a recent survey done by CVoter on behalf of the Dadhichi Deh Daan Samiti has disclosed that more than 85 per cent people are unaware that they can donate their organs. “So we have decided that apart from regular work, we will mark out 15 days a year to make concerted efforts to educate people about it,” he said, adding that it is worrisome that many districts do not have eye banks or facilities for donating other organs. He further stated that the Samiti is working towards making India free of corneal blindness. Alarmingly, as of now, as many as 11 lakh people in our country are awaiting cornea transplantation. The availability is just 55,000 a year!
“India is far behind other developing countries in terms of organ donation. There is an urgent need for the government, civil society groups as well as citizens to come together and spread the message of organ donation that saves a precious life every time. It is our firm belief that through this campaign, we will be able to encourage more people towards body-organ-eye donation,” noted President of Dadhichi Deh Dan Samiti Harsh Malhotra.
The Samiti has decided to impress upon the central and state governments to work in this direction. “Three important requirements include an Advisory Committee on Organ Donation in each state, an Eye Bank in each medical college and a Cornea Collection Centre in each district,” remarked Bihar Deh Daan Samiti Founder Sushil Modi.
Over 85 per cent people unaware that organs can be donated, reveals CVoter survey
To make people aware, Samiti members also also requested leaders like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Sadhvi Ritambhara, Murari Bapu among others to talk about this issue with their followers. “We also got video messages from these leaders as people do get impacted by what they say,” said Modi.
“The CVoter survey also revealed that a majority of people are supportive of a law that could encourage and incentivise organ donations in the country. Nearly 48 per cent of the informed respondents said they are in favour of a law to register all Indians for voluntary organ donations,” said Kumar, who also presented a list of suggestions to Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya. These suggestions are given by over 60 NGOs working in the field.
As per the report of The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), a sharp fall among brain-dead donors in 2020 is a clarion call to take strong initiatives. The number of brain-dead donors in 2019 was 715 which reduced to 315 in 2020. Though the figure got improved in 2021 with 552 registrations, still it was lesser than the record maintained in 2019.
A bigger cause of concern is organ donation rate (ODR) – It was 0.27 in 2013 which increased marginally to 0.4 in 2021.
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