SRINAGAR: While 23-year-old Manjot Singh Kohli, a Sikh girl, wants to donate one of her kidneys to save her Muslim friend Samreen Akhtar, who is suffering from an organ failure, Kohli's father wouldn't have any of it and has even appealed to Governor Satya Pal Malik, who currently holds the administrative reins of Jammu and Kashmir, to prevent her daughter from donating her kidney.
Manjot, a social activist and entrepreneur from Udhampur, volunteered to donate one of her kidneys to her friend Samreen, who hails from Rajouri district.
They have been good friends for long and Manjot is willing to part with one of her kidneys to help Samreen live.
After she was diagnosed with renal failure, Samreen's mother wanted to donate one of her kidneys to save her daughter's life. However, doctors told her that she wasn't medically fit to part with one of her kidneys.
On being told of her friend's plight and learning that she urgently needs a kidney transplant to live, Manjot told Samreen and her family members that she was ready to donate one of her kidneys to her.
She even visited her ailing friend at the Sher-I Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, and informed the hospital management that she wants to donate one of her kidneys to Samreen.
Manjot and Samreen even appeared before the SKIMS Soura authorisation committee, on several occasions, to complete the formalities with regard to organ donation.
"They cleared us for the transplant procedure two months ago, but are now unnecessary hurdles saying that since belong to different religions, this might become a prickly issue for us," Manjot said.
However, a doctor at SKIMS said they are exercising caution in the matter as they don't have a consent for the procedure from the Sikh girl's family, yet.
"Given the circumstances, we can't take a decision in haste. We have to complete all legal formalities and do the necessary paperwork before going ahead with the transplant procedure," the doctor said.
For Samreen and her family, Manjot is an angel and a true friend. "She has shown friendship is above religion and caste. I want to thank Manjot for her selfless act of love and kindness towards me and my family," Samreen said.
However, just as Samreen and her family were hoping that the hospital would allow the kidney transplant, Manjot's father went public with her opposition to the procedure.
A video message, which has gone viral on social media, shows Manjot's father Gurdeep Singh Kohli urging her to do a rethink on her humanitarian gesture.
"She hasn't been living with me for months. She met me on November 10 saying that she wants to donate one of her kidneys to her friend. I opposed it. I reminded her of her responsibilities. I have 75% disability and cannot move," Manjot's father said.
"I appeal to her her to have pity on me. I am paralysed and there's no one to look after me. Please, come back to me and think about your future. Who will marry you if you donate one of your kidneys?" he said.
Manjot's parents met with an accident in 2014. While her mother died in the accident, her father sustained life changing injuries.