There are billions of people in India – a country rich with culture, diversity, and sadly, superstitions. Being a member of the South Asian Medical Student’s Association (SAMSA), when I started approaching people for the organ donation campaign started by it, I understood the real scenario of organ donation in India.
Charity begins at home, and so did my campaign. I went home, told my parents about my wish to donate organs and encouraged them to donate too. My parents were silent for a moment, and then asked whether I am going to college for doing “these” things. They expressed their doubt about whether I was on the right track. They advised me to focus on my studies.
I asked them one last thing before coming back. If I were in a position of end-stage organ failure, what would they do? The answer never came.
Next, I approached my friends. I have several friends working or studying in prestigious institutions. They take up various issues of the society and fight for time. Some fight for feminism, some for LGBTQ rights, some for malnourished children, etc. My Facebook and Instagram accounts are always flooded with images of their social work.
I explained to them the need for organ donation and also encouraged them. They praised me for my work, nodded in agreement with the need for donation in our country, but didn’t want to pledge their organs. Isn’t organ donation a social issue? Isn’t gifting a life a noble cause?
I reached out to my professors. Being doctors, they were obviously more aware and educated about this need. Despite this, I had to return empty-handed after meeting most of them. We often talk about the lack of awareness, but is this situation in sync with this? Being a mere endeavour. awareness drives can only drive the stimuli, but making a step towards enacting it needs a change in our mindsets.
If we, who are tech-savvy, socially-active people with all the necessary knowledge of organ donation, are reluctant to give our organs to save lives, will other people take the required action? Will there be any change? Tomorrow, it may be anyone facing organ failure. It can be me, it can be you.
Thousands of patients go untreated and are left to die every year, because of the shortage of organs. You can make the change, you can be the change. Be a proud organ donor. Register with the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO). Save lives. Gift lives. You will be blessed.
Featured image used for representative purposes only.