In an altruistic gesture, Punjab state IAS Officers’ Association has taken initiative to promote the noble cause of organ donation in an orientation session organised in collaboration with Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO) and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)-Chandigarh at the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration (MGSIPA), Chandigarh.
The session was presided over by Ms Vini Mahajan, President, Punjab State IAS Officers’ Association and witnessed participation from the top brass of Punjab bureaucracy including Anirudh Tiwari, Tejveer Singh, Gurpreet Sapra, Hussan Lal, Amrit Kaur, Rajat Aggarwal, Sibin C, Tanu Kashyap and Girish Dayalan.
Addressing delegates at the inaugural ceremony, Ms Mahajan said, “Considering the fact that organ donation is less not because there are no potential donors but because the potential donors do not convert into actual donors due to the lack of knowledge, awareness and socio-cultural views. The cause calls for an integrated and sustained effort of the government, healthcare professionals, community and non-government organizations to create a culture of voluntary deceased organ donation.”
Ms Mahajan also endorsed the need for top driven initiatives to promote community engagement towards the cause and assured the Association’s full support in giving a boost to the deceased donation programme in the state of Punjab.
Guest speaker Prof A.K. Gupta, Medical Superintendent and Head-Department of Hospital Administration at PGIMER said, “In our country where over 5 lakh people are waiting for organ transplant, awareness about the cause can play a saviour for those suffering from organ failure and living in constant pain.”
Detailing key issues and challenges in the implementation of the transplantation programme, Prof Gupta outlined a roadmap which emphasized the need for developing adequate infrastructure, training and sensitization of ICU/ Emergency staff, registration of hospitals as retrieval/transplantation centres, better reporting of brain death cases and the most importantly, public awareness about the cause. He also shared the success story of PGIMER Chandiagrh in the field of deceased donation programme.
Commending Punjab State IAS Officers’ Association for its commitment to promote the cause, Prof Gupta said, “The personal presence and keen interest by top leadership sends a very positive message and will help us in garnering traction towards this national mandate considering the cascading impact of the session.”
The session also had the presence of Gandhi family from Chandigarh, who had bravely donated the organs of their 21 year old deceased son Parth, which gave a second chance of life to four terminally ill organ failure patients and restored the sight of two more, completely transforming six lives with transplantation of heart, liver, kidneys and corneas. The hall was filled with moist eyes when Mr Sanjay Gandhi, father of donor Parth, narrated his gritty decision of consenting for organ donation, braving the greatest tragedy of his life.
Ms Kavita Singh, Executive Member, Punjab state IAS Officers’ Association said, “Nothing can be more self-less than truly giving those in need, a ray of hope and more precisely, a second chance to live. So the session was conceived with an intent to build up focus on this altruistic cause of organ donation by engaging with top leadership from various departments to help boosting the donation/retrieval/transplantation activity in the state and thereby, help saving precious lives.”
The session concluded on a positive note with participants pledging for organ donation.