The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu called upon the youth to overcome their apprehensions and take a pledge to donate their organs. He said that the youth, with their scientific outlook to Indian traditions, can convince the society to make organ donation a mission.
Terming organ donation as a ‘delicate and sensitive’ process that requires patience and conviction, Naidu said that the new and aspirational India must give up superstitions and redefine our spiritual outlook according to our social context.
Sounding caution against people who resort to unethical ways of stealing the organs surreptitiously without consent, due to scarcity of donors, the Vice President emphasised on the need for broadening definitions and easing procedures to regulate organ donation in accordance with scientific standards.
He also called for creating a system to help family members of patients to overcome the constraints posed by critical, complex and costly post-transplant care.
He commended the Dadhichi Dehdan Committee for gathering organ donors and collaborating with recognised government institutions and hospitals for the last 22 years to facilitate organ transplantation.
The Vice President pointed out that human beings desired to live forever and said that there can be no better way to realise this desire than to donate one’s organs and let others live complete lives. “By donating an organ you not only live another life, but you also give life and hope to the entire humanity. You give life to affinity, empathy and kinship in the society”, he added.
Referring to the mythological stories where Kings like Dadhichi and Shibi, had donated their bodies, the Vice President underscored that organ donation was very much a part of India’s core values, ideals and the Samskars of our society.
Expressing his concern about the acute shortage in the number of cadavers available to medical colleges, Naidu said that the need of the hour is for us to donate bodies to science with the consent of the family and the society.
Pointing out that modern lifestyle is taking its toll on our health and that non-communicable, lifestyle diseases are spreading at an alarming rate, the Vice President said that in longer-term they affect vital organs, necessitating a transplant.
He said that while scientists have developed synthetic alternatives, in case of vital internal organs like kidney, heart, liver, we still largely depend on organ donation for transplant.
Referring to new technologies like 3D printing being used by scientists to develop artificial organs, the Vice President said that in spite of the promising nature of these technologies, we still have a long way to go before their efficacy is established.
Stressing that time is a critical factor in harvesting the organ from donor’s body and transplanting, he pointed out that most of our districts lack infrastructure and expertise to conduct such surgeries and post-operative care and said that people from smaller districts travel to Metros for Organ Transplant, where they are exposed to hostile and unscrupulous practices. “We certainly have to improve our medical infrastructure at district level”, he added.
Declaring that the ideal of “Share and Care” has been at the core of our civilizations since time immemorial and that the ‘Shanti mantra’ of “Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu” has always been a part of our prayer, the Vice President said that through organ donation and body donation, we can truly realize these great mottos of our civilization.
The Vice President was informed that over 12,000 people had already pledged to donate their organs and 500 people were taking the pledge of organ donation today under the aegis of the Dadhichi Dehdan Samiti. He was also informed that 294 body donations and 864 cornea donations had also been facilitated by the Samiti.