Taking a cue from devotees pledging their organs for Bappa’s blessing during the recently concluded Ganesh festival, Navratri mandals are now taking up the mantle to create awareness about organ donation.
With organ donation rates stagnating and demand for organs continuing to outpace scarce supplies in the state, Tardeo-based Gopal Krishna Krida Mandal (GKKM) has organised an organ donation rally on Sunday to create awareness among people. To ensure their effort creates maximum awareness, the mandal has roped in tiffin carriers to further their social cause.
About 30 dabbawalas are expected to participate in the rally. “We have decided to play a part, as the mandal informed us of their noble intentions. Moreover, it being a Sunday, we don’t have to supply tiffins. Hence, we can devote our time towards the cause,” said Raghunath Medge, president, Mumbai Dabbawala Association.
Apart from the dabbawala community, students, Tardeo residents, Dr T P Lahane, dean of Sir JJ group of hospitals, who received a kidney from his mother 18 years ago, and Dr Gustad Davar, medical director at Hinduja hospital and president of Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC), have also confirmed their participation.
To ensure people are responsive to the initiative, the mandal has put up nearly 100 posters and banners at various places in the city, including prominent religious places like Babulnath, Mahalaxmi, and Mumbadevi temple.
“Our aim is to create awareness among the people about organ donation. Maharashtra is lagging in comparison to southern states when it comes to cadaver organ donation. Hence, many people travel to Tamil Nadu for transplantation. Through this rally we want to reach maximum people,” said Amit Godse, vice-president of the mandal. “Apart from the health experts, we have also invited Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty, who assured us that he will be attending the rally.”
“By organising a march, we have taken a right step to educate people. Every mandal should try and further a social cause. It could be anything from cleanliness or save the girl child,” said Godse.
“Apart from this programme, we organised a blood donation camp last week, after which we handed over 126 units of blood to the Sir JJ Mahanagar blood bank,” said Nitin Avhad, treasurer of the mandal.
Growing waiting lists
According to ZTCC, the waiting lists for organs are: 1,800 patients for kidneys, 70 patients for liver, 8 for lungs, and one for a heart.