Most of the people in Surat, Gujarat, are aware about the concept of organ donation. If you walk on the streets of Surat you will find that several people know what organ donation is basically about. Surat alone counts 50% of organ donations which happen across Gujarat.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless efforts put in by Surat resident Nilesh Mandlewala, the Founder and President of an NGO Donate Life. The 53-year-old unending work has yielded massive results. For the past 13 years, Nilesh has been spreading awareness about organ donation.
And his relentless work has helped save 628 people over the past 13 years. He and his organisation are like an army, in Surat, when it comes to organ donation.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Nilesh Mandlewala, said, “I started spreading awareness in 2005, when my father was diagnosed with a kidney ailment. I used to visit the dialysis centre with him. When a person is diagnosed with a kidney disease, the whole family suffers. So, to help people and give them a new life I started my work.”
Nilesh further adds, “Initially, I have faced a lot of resistance from people. When we used to interact with the families, they used to threaten us. No one used to listen to what we were saying. But, we never lost our hope. Now, the tree which we had planted is bearing fruits. Nowadays people are aware and their mind-set is changing.”
Nilesh and his NGO, Donate Life has managed successfully to penetrate every household in Surat and the neighbouring cities.
Nilesh adds, “During my early days, I used to ask doctors to inform me when a patient became brain-dead. First, we started with kidney and liver. And then, we gradually counselled the family to donate their loved ones heart as well.”
“We have managed to save 628 lives in the past 13 years,” Nilesh says with a lot of pride.
Donate Life, played a very instrumental role in providing the logistical support, to transport a heart for Aaradhya Mule, a girl who had waited for a heart donor.
“My humble appeal to the people is please come forward. Spread awareness and donate organs to save thousands of lives. If the organs of every brain-dead person are donated, then we will not need a live donor,” concludes Nilesh.