In the year 2014, Bhavna Jagwani took the initiative to start the very challenging task of setting up the deceased organ donation and transplant program in Rajasthan.
An NGO was set up with the partnership of MOHAN Foundation and Jaipur Citizen Forum called MFJCF. MFJCF is working closely with the Rajasthan government to set protocols and guidelines, enable training of the medical staff and to create awareness on organ donation.
Q: Recently, transport department of Rajasthan has started issuing driving licence bearing an ‘organ donor’ logo to promote cadaveric organ donation. The first such licence was issued to you, as you are an advocate for organ donation in the state. Could you tell us more about that?
A: The new category is being incorporated by transport department since last week, asking if they are an organ donor in online application. If they say yes, then their licence will have organ donor logo. This is like taking pledge form but on a mass scale by government.
We had asked permission from central government. Any state can do that by issuing a gazette notification on the same. While many people become brain-dead in road accidents, it will help when relatives know that consent is given when he or she was alive.
Q: How is the organ donation awareness in Rajasthan?
A: I started work in 2002. Not many were aware at that time. But now majority people know about organ donation, still there is lot which needs to be done. We had recently taken awareness drive in 92 gram panchayats in the state.
Q: What are the challenges?
A: Not many doctors in the government set up are willing to undertake organ transplant surgeries. The government will have to give them some incentives. Also, there is need to arrange training programs among doctors.
Earlier in the month of March, while speaking on the subject of organ donation information on driver’s licence, Nitin Gadkari, Union transport minister said, “One of the leading companies has given me the proposal. We are signing an agreement with them to incorporate the organ donation information on the driving license. So, after accident, immediately within 3 hours we can take him to the hospital and give organs to those who need it.”