Mumbai: Bhiwandi couple asks their wedding guests for kidneys
In unique move to support a cause, couple requests guests at wedding to ditch gifting, sign up for organ donation instead
Deepak Gupta and Darshana Kumar with their own organ donor cards at their reception
Guests at a wedding reception in Bhiwandi last week were caught in a moment of self-introspection when the bride and groom requested an unusual gift from them. While some hesitated, most were seen queuing up at a stall inside the reception venue.
Here, they signed a pledge to donate their organs, bringing some cheer to the newly-married couple Deepak Gupta and Darshana Kumar. The couple, who held a small wedding celebration for friends and family on January 26, had taken their guests by surprise with a banner outside the reception hall, which read: No flowers no gifts, if you want to bless us, bless us by pledging your organs.
Newly-weds Deepak Gupta and Darshana Kumar with guests
If that wasn't enough to play on the guests' conscience, NGO workers were also seen personally attending to those at the reception, and distributing pamphlets on organ donation awareness. Deepak, who is a professional photographer and avid biker, met Darshana, also a biking enthusiast, on one of his cross-country trips. The couple had a court marriage on January 23, and together, decided to donate their organs at the reception, three days later. "I know of people, who've lost their lives because they failed to get an organ donor on time. My wife and I thought that we should pledge our organs to help those in need. We felt it was a perfect start to our new life together," said Deepak.
The organ donation banner put up at the reception venue
"But, the two of us alone, cannot make a difference. Hence, we decided to use our reception as a platform to educate people to come forward and pledge their organs," Darshana added. For the initiative, the couple tied up with social organisation Giants Group, which has been actively promoting organ donation in Bhiwandi. Deepak and Darshana pledged their organs in front of the guests. Dr Kamal Jain, special officer of the project, also gave a talk to motivate other guests to pledge their organs. By the end of the celebrations, eight guests pledged their support to the cause.
Deepak's brother Aman Gupta said that he was proud to see his brother and sister-in-law spearhead such a thoughtful initiative. "They really believe in making a difference." Dr Jain said, "Here in India, around 5 lakh people lose their lives daily due to unavailability of organs. At Deepak and Darshana's wedding reception, eight people signed the pledge, and this in itself, is such a positive start."
Pranav Gandhade, one of the eight guests, who agreed to donate his organs, said, "When I came for the reception, I never thought I was going to be part of such a wonder movement. The speech that the doctor gave convinced me to sign the pledge."