On August 9, 2017, MOHAN Foundation Delhi-NCR office conducted Angels of Change (AOC) Volunteers for Organ Donation Training programme for four Air India Staff at the Foundation's office in Gurugram. While two of the volunteers were retired cabin crew members, the other two are still serving. The training was organised for 8 Air India staff but 4 could not make it due to heavy rain and local cab strike. The volunteers were Anita Singh, Manu Sharma, Asha Rawal and Anjali Kapoor. This was the 11th Batch of Angels of Change volunteer for organ donation whose training was possible through the funding of SBI Foundation. Ms. Pallavi Kumar Executive Director, Dr Muneet Sahi Programme Manager & Ms. Mareena Thomas Programme Officer, MOHAN Foundation, Delhi-NCR office were the resource persons.
The training started with an introduction about MOHAN Foundation and its activities following which the volunteers were asked to fill up the registration forms. The volunteers were given a kit that included the AOC manual with all the necessary information on organ donation and important contact numbers and a CD with materials that could be used for their future independent awareness sessions on organ donation.
The workshop began with a motivational video on organ donation. The video was shown to help the volunteers understand the fear and trauma that a person suffering from end stage organ failure goes through and how the patient’s family is also affected by the same. It also conveyed the gratitude that the recipient and his/her family feel for the donor. This started a conversation on the beauty of the act of donation.
This was followed by a mind mapping activity aimed to help the participants to begin thinking about various aspects of organ donation. They were asked to come up with words that came to their mind when they think about organ donation. The words were written on a white board to help them understand how vast and complex the issue is and how various emotional, social, psychological, ethical, legal and political factors are at play when we speak about organ donation.
A detailed presentation was made by Ms Pallavi Kumar on the various concepts on organ donation and transplantation. Information on types of organ donation, the process, brain death, law, state-wise programs, myths and relevant facts was given. Ms. Pallavi also shared case stories of donations coordinated by MOHAN Foundation counsellors. Dr Muneet Sahi explained brain death in detail and encouraged each volunteer to explain brain death in their own words to ascertain if they had understood it.
Post lunch, Mareena took them through a basic presentation specially designed for the volunteers to be used when they conduct their own awareness sessions. They were encouraged to use their personal experiences and other stories to establish a connection with the audience while making their presentation. The volunteers were also informed that their target group would be different every time, so their approach should be in keeping with the group that they are going to address.
The workshop ended with a group activity called ‘Stories of Hope’ wherein the participants were given four real life donor stories to read. They were then told to write answers to few questions given at the end of the story. The aim was to help the participants understand the donor family's perspectives.
After going through the activity Ms. Asha Rawal shared that she could not have considered organ donation when her husband passed away few months back because the very thought of her husband's body not being whole was unthinkable. But, after reading stories of hope, the realisation dawned on her that all the families in the stories in their moment of grief took the courageous step of donating the organs of their loved one thereby saving many lives. It was truly an inspiring moment for her and she felt humbled.
In response to the question, “Did the story you chose caused you to think differently about organ donation?” – Ms Manu Sharma wrote:
“Yes, this beautiful story (of a French donor in India) tells us about the service of mankind and that it does not matter where your land of birth and death is. The only thing which is counted is your service and what you could do after your death for others.”
It was very enriching experience for the volunteers and they now aim to conduct awareness sessions within the Air India fraternity and sensitize them about the noble cause of organ donation.