A Mumbai couple’s wedding turned out to be quite a unique one as they decided to encourage the attendees to fill organ donation forms and pledge for the same instead of receiving gifts from them. They not only tied the knot, but also spread awareness on organ donation on their special day.
Narendra Avhad, 27, and Dipali Nagre, 26, vowed to donate their organs and signed forms for the same on Thursday. “I have seen people struggle for organ transplants. When we decided to get married, we thought of taking this opportunity to spread awareness on organ donation,” said Avhad, a tour and travels businessman. The couple got in touch with the State Organ Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO), a state-level company looking after organ donation, and took the forms from them, according to the MiD DAY.
“It is a noble cause to donate organs. When Avhad told me about it, I was happy to have such an awareness programme as an integral part of our marriage. Before we took the pheras, we signed the forms and pledged to donate our organs,” said Nagre. Avhad’s friends Dr Swapnil Kulkarni, a chest physician from Pune and Dr Rushi Andhalkar anchored the programme. The doctor duo also set up a desk where the wedding attendees enquired about organ donation and filled the forms.
“We have a huge list of patients waiting for organ transplants. It is commendable that Avhad and Nagre chose their wedding ceremony as a platform to spread awareness on organ donation,” said Dr Kulkarni. He further informed that about 108 people signed Form 7 for organ and tissue donation at the wedding.
Dr Andhalkar said, “Organ donation can be either from a living donor or a donor who is brain dead. While a living donor can donate a kidney, part of the liver, part of the pancreas, part of the lungs to their family members only, we need awareness on brain dead donors and how it can boost the organ transplant programme.” He said that many people at the wedding had come from villages and they were not aware of cadaver donation. However, they got to know about it at the programme.
“It is important to discuss organ donation with family members when you are pledging to do it, so that they are aware of your decision,” said Dr TP Lahane, former DMER, who was also present at the wedding.
Agreeing to Dr Lahane, SOTTO-Maharashtra’s chief Dr Sujata Patwardhan, who also helped the couple with the forms, said a get-together like a wedding ceremony was perfect to spread awareness on organ donation. “An organ donor can save more than eight lives in a lifetime by donating organs that are functioning properly. Initiatives by people like this helps us spread awareness on organ donation in the community. We are looking forward to people coming forward for the cause so that patients waiting for organ transplants get benefitted,” she added.