On 8th August 2017, MOHAN Foundation was invited to conduct an awareness session on organ donation at ASN Senior Secondary School, Mayur Vihar Phase 1, Delhi. The session was conducted in collaboration with Times of India as a part of their organ donation drive that concludes on August 13 and it was second in the school series. Students from standard XII of science stream attended the session. Mareena Thomas, Programme Officer, Delhi - NCR, MOHAN Foundation was the resource person for the session.
It was an interactive session. Amongst the participants there was a student whose aunt had undergone a kidney transplant. Ms. Sonia Luthra (Principal, ASN School) shared how she herself underwent tests to assess the suitability of her kidney for a relative, an ex-chairman of the school who later received an organ through deceased donation in Mumbai. Another relative from the ex-chairman’s family donated his corneas.
Mareena took her cue from these sharing’s and began her talk. She encouraged students to get motivated from such real-life examples. The students were told that there may be many others within their circles who would have experienced the pain of a near and dear one suffering from end stage organ failure and the end to such a pain is only when people come forward to donate their organs after their death. Through the session she explained the possibility of organ donation only in the case of brain death, the Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994 under which commercial dealing of organs is illegal and punishable by the law and the process of eye donation. She asked the students to go home, initiate a conversation on organ donation and understand how their family feels about the same.
Times of India and Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM were present to cover the session. They also interviewed the students to gather their understanding of the subject post session. A student in her interview to RJ Vidit Sharma from Radio Mirchi shared that her fear of mutilation of body during organ donation process went away when she heard that there is only one single incision through which organs are retrieved and thereafter it is stitched neatly, body packed properly and handed over to the family. Vidit Sharma also shared MOHAN Foundation’s toll free helpline number with the audience.
At the end, Ms. Ranjini Rao, commerce teacher, requested the principal that the awareness session should be held for commerce students also, as this is a topic that is relevant to all and everyone should be aware of.
Mareena also shared the Angels of Change (AOC) volunteers for organ donation training programme with the group and the principal and teachers were in favour of conducting the AOC training in their school for student volunteers.
Impact of the session: A day after the session, a parent of a student called the office of MOHAN Foundation to understand the process of organ donation and expressed that he and his wife had always wanted to be an organ donor. He was happy that his child attended the session and discussed the same with them.
Close to 250 students attended the session.