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KOLKATA: 18.03.2019

I am happy to be present here today amongst all of you today to speak about the noble cause of organ donation.

1. It is heartening to know that the Bengal Organ Donation Society has been working relentlessly on popularizing the cause of Organ Donation through numerous such educative and promotional seminars and events.

2. The constructive steps taken by social activists such as Shri Viresh Shah, Commodore V.M.Swamy, Ms.Shruti Mohta, Shri Sujit Chakraborty, Shri Buddha Das, Shri Supriyo Mazumdar and others, led to the formation of Bengal Organ Donation Society.

3. I am told that as many as 5 lakh people die every year due to the non-availability of organs. This paints a dismal picture of the organ donation situation of the country. The huge gap between organ retrieval and the organ demand needs to be bridged through a robust plan of action.

4. With the goal that “No person shall die for the want of an organ”, the society has spearheaded this noble cause to create maximum impact on the society. India, today, has progressed leaps and bounds in terms of medical technology, in particular and medical science, in general. But organ donation is something which is yet to pick up pace. This can mostly be attributed to lack of awareness amongst the population and lack of an action plan at the end of the medical facilities across the country.

5. Towards the end of achieving this goal, I believe the means can be found by formulation of a phase wise, step-by-step plan. A plan, which not only takes care of the donor and donee, but all those involved in the process of organ donation.

6. When I think from the point of view of the donor family, I can understand how difficult is the process of organ donation for them, in case of deceased organ donations. Donating the organs of a loved one is a tough decision to make. And to aid this decision making and make it a easier, I believe, there must be a team of counsellors, who can understand the psyche of the family of the donor and motivate them to donate the organs.

7. The novel and indeed appreciable step taken by Bengal Organ donation society in this direction is the organization of floral tributes and giving Guard of Honour to the departed soul and his/her family when the body leaves the hospital.

8. Besides the counselling, significant attention should also be given to helping the families in processing all the paperwork involved in the process. Awareness campaigns and programs must form the basis of a initiative like this, because people must rise above their suspicions and superstitions to believe and move forward with organ donation - both pledging before death donations ann cadaver donations.

9. It is notable here that Eastern India has picked up in the area of organ donation, from a figure which was 1 donation in 2017 to 15 donations in 2018. It is a huge jump, which has been made possible because of the untiring and continuous efforts of the members of this society.

10. The Bengal organ donation society has given hope to the population of West Bengal and set an example for other states to emulate by establishing a state-of-the art organ donation facility. We, as individuals, must add to this effort of the organ donation society, by pledging to donate our organs after death. Small steps like these will only go on to build a huge repository of organs, reaching the goal of no deaths due to non-availability of the organs.

11. In this endeavour, the medical and healthcare professionals, the civil society, the governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the citizens have to join hands and work collaboratively.

I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Thank you,

Jai Hind