Many years ago, while still in college, I had seen a pamphlet from the Lions Club and the National Association for the Blind, inviting people to donate their eyes. My mom and I filled up the donor forms and we were each given a donor certificate (to display, so that more people get to know that they can become donors) and a donor card (to keep in a wallet, so that your donor credentials are on your person). Apart from the kidney, the eye (cornea) was the most popular organ for donation those days. Maybe it still is. Many people are unaware that their other organs can be useful to others. And many (I was one of them) are not sure about how to get registered as organ donors. Others are apprehensive about donating their organs. They fear their absence in their next life?
6th August 2013 was designated as Organ Donation Day. There were frequent ads on Times Now television, encouraging people to donate their organs. The website indicated to do this – www.ileadindia.com.
So I visited the site and pleasantly discovered how simple and easy the process of organ donation was made, online. No long forms to fill, nothing to sign and send back by post. I just needed to fill in the organ donor form with my personal details. I specified which organs I wanted to donate (I chose all organs), then submitted the form. I received an e-mail acknowledgement immediately. It contained a line that said that one of the NGO partners would send a donor card directly to me.
Here are the links to each of the I Lead India Organ Donation NGO partners.
4) Gift a Life
With the Organ Donation event now over, the I Lead India website is currently not registering new donors. However, it still carries some useful information on organ donation that you can read here and FAQs that are answered here. If you still have queries regarding organ donation, you can call toll free 1800 4193737 or email email@example.com.
For those who wish to donate their organs, you can go to the I Lead India partner website Mohan Foundation, register, and download the donor card right away. The donor card is an acknowledgement of your wish to pledge your organs and not a legal document.
Finally, organ donation rests with your family because they will be the ones alive, to give permission for your organs to be taken off your body. You need to let your family know that you wish to donate your organs on your passing. Whom they need to contact to fulfill your wish will be specified on the donor card, and most hospitals will be aware.
Organ donation brings to mind an incident many years ago. The father of one of my friends in Bangalore, Mr Shantakumar, had desired that his body be donated after his death. He died of cancer, so his organs were not harvested, but his family gave his entire body to a medical college in Chennai. It was the first time that I’d heard of a full body being donated. There was no funeral. He lived on forever. Medical students need dead bodies to learn, and instead of burying or burning the dead, this is one really good use of your body after you die.
By donating our organs, we will make the lives of many other people better, and in most cases, save their lives. There is no better way to recycle our lives!
More information on organ donation in Karnataka, and becoming an organ donor can be found here.