Start Right: Kids Start First Step Towards Organ Donation
New Delhi: Amidst of all the outcries that today's education system misses value, some schools in India are thinking out of the box. They are taking baby steps towards a big campaign- organ donation. These schools are creating awareness in children regarding the importance of organ donation, hoping that the children in return may enlighten the parents and thus the larger society will be aware.
Recently, class VIII and IX students of SVPV Vidyalaya, Kandivli in Mumbai, recorded a 30-minute radio drama around the cause. “The theme of our annual day celebration last year was organ donation and, we have, time and again, invited doctors to speak about it. The skit is about a child who dies young and how his parents decide to donate his organs,” said Sangeeta Srivastava, school principal. The drama recorded on April 17, will be aired on AIR on Tuesday (May 8).
“Our students have learnt about organ donation through various awareness sessions at the school. They make presentations on the issue during open houses, when we have all the parents visiting. The students showcase street plays at Malad station regularly,” said Sudha Shanbaug, principal, Children’s Academy, Malad. The school will host a 15-day awareness drive in August as a line-up to the World Organ Donation Day on the 13th.
Giving a push to the cause are the recently published class X textbooks for the Maharashtra state board. A chapter titled ‘Cell Biology and Biotechnology’ speaks to students about organ donation and how it can help save lives. The lesson reads: “Concepts like organ donation and body donation have emerged recently after realization that some organs can be used to save the life of other needful persons. A liberal view behind the concept of organ and body donation is that after death, our body should be useful to other needful persons so that their miserable life would become comfortable...”
The book also provides links to WHO resources about organ donation and introduces them to the Transplantation Of Human Organs Act, 1994.
Meanwhile, discussion are going on among various school administrators to print a pledge on the students' ID card, saying that 'I am an Organ Donor'. But the academics were not too pleased with a 2013 circular of Mumbai University’s department of students’ welfare to make printing of pledge on students’ ID cards mandatory. The expectation was to have a one-liner saying ‘I am an organ donor’ or ‘I pledge to donate my organs’ on college ID cards. Instead, the educational institutes are buckling up to make such a badge and let the students choose whether he/she wants to wear it or not.
(Indebted to various sources)