On November 22, 2019, MOHAN Foundation was invited to conduct an awareness session on organ donation for the students of Pearl Academy at Rajouri Campus, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi. The students were from the School of Creative and were pursuing courses like fashion designing, product designing, communication designing, interior & architecture designing, media communication and fashion styling. Ms. Ambika Magotra, Associate Dean - School of Creative Practice, took the initiative to organize the session. Dr. Muneet Kaur Sahi was the resource person and she was accompanied by Ms. Shriya Negi Transplant Coordinator MOHAN Foundation.
Pearl Academy, India’s leading institution in designing, fashion, and the media has been a catalyst for success of the students across creative industries for 26 years. Pearl Academy has completed more than two decades of empowering creative minds. Since its inception in 1993, the academy has evolved into a globally renowned institution of higher learning with a focus on Internationalism; entrepreneurship and employability; catering to the needs of the design, fashion, business and retail industry.
Ms. Ambika addressed the audience and introduced the MF team. She then invited Dr. Muneet to begin the session. Dr. Muneet spoke about her association with MOHAN Foundation and its role in creating awareness in the field of organ donation since 1997. She began her talk by asking the participants if they had heard about organ donation and also inquired if any one amongst them had signed up to be an organ donor or if anyone present there had personal experience to share regarding organ donation. Many people raised their hands in affirmation of having heard about organ donation. While one of them shared that she had pledged for organ donation and was also carrying her donor card. Another student shared that he came to know about eye donation when beauty queen Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had pledged her eyes many years back.
The sharing by these two students sparked an interesting discussion and set the tone for the talk as everyone present realized the reality of organ shortage in the country and how it could affect any one of them directly and also that each one of them could contribute in one way or the other.
Dr. Muneet then explained the basic concepts of organ donation and transplantation with the help of a simple, easily comprehensible PowerPoint presentation. She shared the current statistics of organ donation in India in comparison to other countries. In India, deceased donation rate is at 0.80 per million i.e. it is not even 1 per million population, which is abysmally low when compared to the organ donation rate prevalent in other developed countries. She touched upon the need for organ donation in our country, where a patient is diagnosed with organ failure every single day.
She gave examples of Singapore and Spain being hard & soft opt-out countries respectively. Under a hard system, organs will be removed after death if the individual has not opted out, and the family has no role. Under a soft system, there is a presumption in favour of donation but the family have the final say. This sharing of different consent systems that are followed the world over, led to an interesting discussion where the students debated that India should also become an opt-out country instead of opt-in where people have to actively sign up to a register to donate their organs after death.
When speaking on the subject of brain death, a short video was shown for better understanding and clarity.
Students asked a lot of questions post the presentation and there was a vibrant discussion.
Close to 35-40 students attended the session.