The process of organ donation is a medical procedure involving donating an organ like heart, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and pancreas after the death of the donor for the purpose of transplanting them into another person who is in need of an organ. The National Health Portal states, “According to a survey, in India every year about 500,000 people die because of non-availability of organs, 200,000 people die due to liver diseases and 50,000 people die because of heart diseases. Moreover, 150,000 people await a kidney transplant but only 5,000 get among them.” Thus, donation of organs can help in saving the lives of countless people.
Shruti Mohta, Anoushka Mohta, Vikram Baid and Varun Baid identified among themselves a common passion for the cause of organ donation and co-founded the Live Kingsize, Die Kingsize Foundation to make people aware of the issue and step up the rate of organ donations. This is indeed a commendable initiative by these youngsters. The co-founders have shared their insights.
Ever since I can remember, perhaps since I was four years old, my mother’s seriousness about health and fitness have greatly inspired me and shaped my mind. It used to be fun to do yoga together, to go for walking or running together and sometimes even have a mad dance session together. I would thoroughly enjoy my swimming training, basketball and skating. I also learnt to be naturally mindful of what I was eating, and by the time I was seven, I started to imagine myself as a dietician, prescribing diets to imaginary clients - including my father.
At the age of sixteen, I came across the concept of organ donation and was fascinated by it. I was amazed that a single organ donor can save up to eight lives and improve the lives of many more. When I thought of all the times I had played ‘blindfold’ just waiting to get the blindfold off my eyes and be able to see again, I realised what a wonderful gift an eye donation can be.
I learnt that it was very difficult for someone suffering from end-stage organ diseases to find an organ donor and that lakhs of people die while they remain waitlisted for an organ. As I started organising awareness events with my family’s help, I started learning how ‘solid organs’ like the liver, kidney, heart, lungs and pancreas could be donated only by a ‘brain dead’ person but the corneas and skin, which are known as ‘tissues,’ could be donated by anyone - even in the case of a normal death.
Brain dead individuals can neither regain their consciousness nor can they breathe on their own as the brain stem is the centre for both. The heart can continue to function on a ventilator and other support for a maximum of 36 to 72 hours. As the blood supply to the organs can be maintained for a few hours, it is during this time that all suitable organs such as the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs and pancreas can be retrieved.
When I was drawn to fitness at a young age, I had not even thought of organ donation. However, I now know that if I stay fit, not only can I live a fuller life myself, but when I stop existing in the human realm, someone else can use my healthy organs and benefit from them.
I joined a home-fitness programme a year ago and I love it. I think exercise gives a high and everyone should practise some form of exercise to stay healthy and happy oneself and to make others happy too. And that is the ethos of our organisation - Live Kingsize Die Kingsize as well.
My great grandmother always spoke about donating her eyes. This brilliant science of donating organs always intrigued me. It was taking recycling of resources to another level. My great grandmother peacefully passed away in June 2018 and my father was instantly reminded of her wish. Having no time in hand and with little knowledge on how to go about it, he made some frantic calls to his friends and finally got to donate her eyes to a legitimate eye bank. With a sigh of relief of having been able to fulfil her dream, it dawned upon us what she had made us do and the importance of it was further reinstated when the eye bank called us with the names and details of people who had received the organ donated by my great grandmother. We all felt so proud of her. She had the empathy and spiritual awareness to pledge her organ and be so ahead of her times. She led by example and as a family we have all decided to pledge our organs.
The world has shaken us to awaken us. We have all witnessed the power of a tiny virus. At the same time, we also witnessed the power of kindness. We have seen doctors, nurses, frontline workers and social workers put their lives at risk to save so many others. An interesting question comes up here. Without even putting our lives at risk, if there was a way to save eight lives, if there was a way to give vision to six people?
At a time when the world is praying for a vaccine, how would it be when the vaccine is found and people continue to die because they refused to make use of it? Isn’t that what we have been doing? There was no hope for those suffering from end-stage organ failure. There were no poetic crimson sunrises or golden sunsets for those who knew only one colour: black. And then yes, a solution was found. The vaccine was found. Yes, it took years of research and hard work. But they did find it. It was called organ donation.
A miracle of medical science. But then what happened? We politely turned our faces. We need time for the idea to grow on us, we said. Really? Someone will be dying for the need of an organ while we burn and bury our healthy organs and those of our family members. Is this how we are going to react when a vaccine is found?
Or are we ready to unlock our mental lockdown?
Are we ready to start a new pandemic of world love?
Are we ready to become an organ donor?
Yes, a single organ donor can save up to eight lives.
Yes, a single donor can give vision to up to six people.
Yes, a single tissue donor can improve up to fifty lives.
Say yes to organ donation.
Choose to first use the vaccine that we already have.
Join the organ donation festival this 13th August on World Organ Donation Day.
आँखें खुली तो अंधेरा था ।
आँखें खुली तो अंधेरा था ।
कहीं दूर एक सौम्य सी रौशनी टिम टिमा रही थी जो मुझे अपनी ओर आकर्षित कर रही थी ।
इस रोशनी से मैं अनजान था इसलिए ज़रा थमा ।
यह मैं कहाँ हूँ ? मेरे घर का ही आभास है , जमा भी सारे अपने हैं मगर ये इतना रो क्यों रहे हैं। इतने उदास क्यों हैं क्यों थमें हैं। किसे घेर कर खडे हैं।
और यह ज़मीन पर नीरस और शांत हो कर कौन लेटा है। ज़रा पास जा कर देखा तो बौखलाया मैं। यह तो मैं ही पड़ा हूँ। और अगर मैं वहाँ पड़ा हूँ तो यहाँ कैसे खड़ा हूँ। कोई मुझे देख भी नहीं रहा । सब मेरे शरीर को ही देख रहे हैं। सब को नाम लेकर पुकारा मैंने लेकिन ऐसा लग रहा था मानो मेरे वहाँ होने का उन्हें आभास ही नहीं था। मैं शांत हो गया। असमंजस में पड़ गया !
कुछ देर गुजरा तो इस अंधेरे में भी सब कुछ साफ-साफ नज़र आने लगा। वो सभी जो खड़े थे मेरे शव के पास उनके चेहरों के साथ उनकी नियत भी साफ-साफ दिखने लगी।
क्या यह एक सपना है या वो एक सपना था जो मैं जी रहा था।
बहुत कुछ कमाया मैंने अपने जीवन में मगर आज मैं किसी वस्तु को छू भी नहीं पा रहा। यहाँ तक की मेरा शरीर जिसे मैं अपनी पहचान समझता था वह भी मेरा नहीं । मेरे शरीर ने भी मेरा साथ छोड़ दिया।
मगर आज जब मैं मुड़ के पीछे देखता हूँ तो मुझे ख़ुशी है कि यह शरीर जो मेरा था ही नहीं, इसके अंग मैं जीवित रहते किसी दूसरे ज़रूरत मंद के नाम कर दिया। किसी दूसरे के जाते-जाते भी काम आ सका मैं।
कुछ हसरतें आज अलग हैं।काश मैंने यह पहले देख लिया होता जो मैं आज देख और समझ पा रहा हूँ। मगर अब बहुत देर हो गयी । समय और समान दोनो पीछे छूट गए।
मगर ये क्या ? कुछ तो लग रहा है मैं अपने साथ भी लाया हूँ। यह अमूल्य अच्छे कर्म और आशीष जो मैंने शरीर में रहते कमाए वो आज साथ चल रहे हैं मेरे। वो बन रहे हैं मेरा सहारा जब सब कुछ छूट गया है। और इस सहारे के भरोसे मैं अब उस रौशनी की ओर बढ़ रहा हूँ जो मुझे प्यार से बुला रही है। सच कहूँ तो एक आत्मविश्वास दे रहे हैं यह कर्म , जैसे मैं बढ़े जा रहा हूँ अपने अगले पड़ाव की ओर।