In their early twenties, Kamal Hasan, P. Sudhakar, K.P. Sethu Raman, B. John Marcus, J. Gokulakrishnan and B. Magesh set out from Chennai on September 9 to cover 2,000 km across the following nine districts: Vellore, Salem, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Tirunelveli, Madurai, Tiruchi, Thanjavur and Puducherry.With the slogan “One organ donor can save nine lives”, the six-member team arrived here on Friday and took part in a reception organised by 13 Rotary Clubs and 12 hospitals.
An employee of TCS E-Serve, Mr. Kamal Hasan says: “We could have gone to Udhagamandalam or elsewhere. But my classmates in higher secondary and my friends since then decided to spend this vacation by doing some service to society.”Earlier, the six used to mobilise funds for homes for children and even involved in a small movement of rushing persons injured in accidents to hospitals in Chennai, said Mr. Kamal Hasan, the leader of the rally team.Executive Director of the foundation Lalitha Raghuram said: “These youngsters had offered to take out a motorcycle rally to generate awareness on organ donation.Network
The foundation is involved in educating the public on how to go about donating the organs of brain dead persons, said Ms. Raghuram, who lost her 19-year-old son in an accident in Hyderabad in 2004. She donated the brain dead boy’s organs. The foundation had a network with hospitals to educate their staff on organ donation. Hospitals had counsellors to persuade people to donate organs of brain dead relatives. “We train these counsellors, who are also called transplant co-ordinators.”
Founder and Managing Trustee of the foundation Sumil Shroff explained how his organisation went about the task of generating awareness among the people on organ donation. A pair of eyes, a pair of kidneys, a pair of lungs, heart, pancreas and liver could be harvested from a brain dead person. Nine persons could have a fresh lease of life from these organs. “We had arranged for the harvesting of 140 organs from 40 donors in the last one year in Tamil Nadu,” he said.Rotary District 3201 Governor K.K. Mathews felicitated the Mr. Kamal Hasan and his team and appreciated the efforts of the foundation to propagate the message of organ donation. He urged the general public to join this movement and spread the message of donation wider.
Managing Trustee of Sankara Eye Centre R.V. Ramani explained the objective of the rally and urged students to spread across society the message on the importance of organ donation. “Appeal to people not to bury or burn organs. Let these live in others,” he said.
Three staff members from Global Hospital in Chennai followed the rally team in an ambulance. They addressed the public on the rally route on organ donation. Apollo Hospitals, Sri Ramachandra University and Tanker Foundation joined hands with the rally team and Mohan Foundation for this campaign.