New Delhi: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu has called upon the youth to overcome their apprehensions and take a pledge to donate their bodies and organs. He said that the youth, with their scientific outlook to Indian traditions, can convince society to make organ donation a mission. Terming organ donation as a ‘delicate and sensitive’ process that requires patience and conviction, Naidu said that the new and aspirational India must give up superstitions and redefine the spiritual outlook according to social context.
Naidu was addressing a gathering at ‘Deh Daaniyon Ka Utsav,’ an event organised by Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) in New Delhi on 12 November. VHP is a member of the Sangh Parivar, an umbrella of Hindu nationalist organisations led by the RSS, and has been classified as a right-wing Hindutva millitant organisation by the CIA.
At the gathering, Naidu also commended the Dadhichi Deh Dan Committee for gathering organ donors and collaborating with recognised government institutions and hospitals over the last 22 years to facilitate organ transplantation.
The Vice President pointed out that human beings desire to live forever and said that there can be no better way to realise this desire than to donate one’s organs and let others live complete lives. “By donating an organ you not only live another life, but you also give life and hope to all of humanity. You give life to affinity, empathy and kinship in the society,” he said.
Referring to mythological stories and lores where Kings like Dadhichi and Shibi had donated their bodies, Naidu underscored that organ donation was very much a part of India’s core values, ideals and the Sanskar (culture) of society.
At another event recently, Naidu had said that we should all learn Sanskrit to maintain a living link with our rich past and truly understand what it means to be an “Indian.”
Expressing his concern about the acute shortage in the number of cadavers available to medical colleges, Naidu said that the need of the hour is for us to donate bodies to science with the consent of family and society.
Pointing out that the modern life style is taking its toll on individual health, and that non-communicable lifestyle diseases are spreading at an alarming rate, the Vice President said that in the longer term they affect vital organs, necessitating a transplant.
He said that while scientists have developed synthetic alternatives, we still largely depend on organ donation for transplants in case of vital internal organs like the kidney, heart, and liver.
Despite the promising nature of new technologies like 3D printing being used by scientists to develop artificial organs, we still have a long way to go before their efficacy is established, said Naidu.
At another conference last week, Naidu had called for stepping up investments to provide timely and high-quality Emergency Health Services in India.
He also called for creating a system to help family members of patients to overcome the constraints posed by critical, complex and costly post- transplant care.
Sounding caution against people who resort to unethical ways of stealing organs surreptitiously without consent, due to a scarcity of donors, the Vice President emphasised the need for broadening definitions and easing procedures to regulate organ donation in accordance with scientific standards.
Stressing that time is a critical factor in harvesting and transplanting organs from a donor’s body, Naidu pointed out that most districts lack infrastructure and expertise to conduct such surgeries and post-operative care.
He said that people from smaller districts travel to Metros for an organ transplant, where they risk being exposed to hostile and unscrupulous practices. “We certainly have to improve our medical infrastructure at the district level,” he noted.
Naidu had recently said that India is rising up in the global arena to assume a leadership position while delivering a lecture in New Delhi. He had also called for a revamp of the education system at JNU.
Declaring that the ideal of ‘Share and Care’ has been at the core of Indian civilizations since time immemorial, and that the ‘Shanti mantra’ (Peace mantra) of ‘Sarve Jana Sukhino Bhavanthu’ (Let the People of the world be happy) has always been a part of Indian prayer, Naidu said that through organ donation and body donation we can realise these mottos.
12,000 people had already pledged to donate their organs and 500 more were taking the pledge of organ donation at the event under the aegis of the Dadhichi Deh Dan Samiti. 294 body donations and 864 cornea donations had also been facilitated by the Samiti.
Dr. Vasanthi Ramesh, Director of National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation, and Harsh Malhotra, President of Dadhichi Deh Dan Samiti, among others, were present at the event.