On August 12, 2017, MOHAN Foundation was invited to conduct an awareness session on organ donation at Honda Cars India Ltd., Tapukara, Rajasthan. Ms Shikha Verma from the HR coordinated the session. The resource person for the session was Ms Mareena Thomas, Programme Officer, Delhi-NCR and she was accompanied by Ms Mehak Singh from AMITY Noida who is presently volunteering with MOHAN Foundation.
The session started with a welcome address by two of their employees, Dr. Amit Tyagi, an in house doctor and Mr Manish Gupta, a senior employee who helped shed some light on organ donation and its need.
Ms Mareena spoke that on an average 10-15 patients suffering from end stage organ failure die everyday while waiting to receive an organ. She emphasised the fact that organ donation can only take place when the patient is declared brain dead and one must understand the same if they wish to pledge to be an organ donor. She further clarified the difference between brain death and coma. She then shared India’s organ donation rate and how we need to achieve 3-4 per million population to fulfil our needs.
Organ and tissue donations can save and significantly improve the lives of many people. She reaffirmed this point by giving example of the famous actor Rana Daggubati from the film Bahuballi who is a recipient of corneal donation.
The employees were quite interactive and asked interesting and relevant questions. One of the questions put forward by an employee was “Do only the rich deserve transplants? What about the people who cannot pay for such expensive surgeries? Does that mean only the rich can have the right to live?” She agreed that transplant surgeries were expensive and that once the recipient receives the organ, he/she has to take immunosuppressants for the rest of their life. Though government hospitals are coming up with free transplant surgeries for patients below poverty line there is still a long way to go for making the post-transplant medicines affordable for the poor.
Another questions asked by one of the employees was “what is the ratio of brain death in India?” to which she replied by saying that most of the people who are pronounced brain dead are victims of road accidents and about one and a half lakh people die every year only in road traffic accidents.
At the end she thanked the employees for attending the session. She then gave donor cards to people who were keen to pledge their organs.
There were 37 participants and 40 donor cards were picked up.