Man on a mission: Pune farmer completes organ donation awareness journey

Awareness on organ donation is the need of the hour. In order to spread information about this vital issue among the masses, a 67-year-old farmer from Maharashtra was on a mission to ride across India, on his motorbike to spread the word about organ donation

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Today, he was welcome back among huge accolades. Songs were sung, videos of 100 days expedition were shown and he and his wife were felicitated in the special event organised by Rebirth, an NGO, which works in the field of organ donation.

Pramod Laxman Mahajan has been a volunteer of the Rebirth foundation since two years, travelled by riding on his motorcycle across 18 states in India to spread awareness about organ donation. He covered more than 12,000 to 15,000 kms during the course of his journey.

Mahajan’s journey flagged off from Pune on October 21, 2018 and it continued for the next 100 days. While he himself has donated his kidney to one of his friend, around 20 years ago, he believes that a lack of awareness on organ donation is hampering its process.

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While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Mahajan said, “I was a farmer for all these years. I come from a small village in Sangli district, Maharashtra. When I donated my kidney to my friend, there were many misconceptions regarding the concept of organ donation. After two decades, I still feel people still have many misconceptions and are not willing to come forward to donate their organs.”

He added, “Once a person is declared dies, his body is burnt. Instead of cremating his body, the family should donate the deceased person’s organs. One organ donor can save eight lives. I plan to raise awareness on organ donation across 18 states in India.

He explained, “There are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding organ donation. People believe that if you donate an organ like a kidney or liver when you are alive, you will fall sick and your lifespan will become shorter. I have donated my kidney 20 years ago, but look at me. I am still fit and fine.”

Rajesh Shetty, founder of Rebirth, a Pune based non-government organisation (NGO), which works in the field of organ donation, “He is working with Rebirth since the last two years. We supported him in his unique initiative. It makes a different impact when somebody who has donated his or her organ comes forward, and creates awareness on organ donation.”

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