SRINAGAR: A day after her father opposed her decision to donate a kidney to a Muslim friend suffering from organ failure, 23-year-old Sikh girl Manot Singh Kohli Monday said her top first priority was to save the life of her friend by donating kidney and relations with father can be saved later.
"My father is very emotional and wants to prevent me from donating the kidney to my friend. He is doing it out of concern for me. However, as an individual, I have every right to decide what I want to do with my body. I am a major and legally allowed to take decisions myself," Manjot told this newspaper.
Her father had on Sunday appealed the Governor and High Court to prevent his daughter from donating kidney to her friend. Hailing from Udhampur, Manjot intends to save the life of her 22-year-old Muslim friend Samreen Akhtar hailing from Rajouri district.
She said her top priority is to save life of Samreen Akhtar, who is suffering from organ failure and is undergoing treatment at Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) in Srinagar.
"If I lose my friend, she won't come back. The relations can be saved later. It has got time," Manjot said.
When told that her father is opposed to her organ donation and stated that he has 75% disability, she said, "My father is not bed-ridden and does not have 75 per cent disability."
"No doubt he is not well as he met with an accident four years back. However, he has recovered and does everything that a normal man does. He is not dependent on anybody and in fact drives also," she said.
According to Manjot, her father recently drove from Amritsar to Jammu.
"He drives and goes out to enjoy life. He is not confined to a single place," she said.
Manjot said if she is doing something for sake of her friend, she is not blind not to take care of family. "Of course my family is my priority but my father is in good health and not dependent on others."
"Once I succeed in saving life of my dear friend, I can turn to save my relations with my family," she said.
Manjot's elder brother is working in Delhi and her father and grandmother are at home in Udhampur. She lost her mother in an accident in 2014.
Asked if none from Samreen's family came forward to donate kidney to her, she said, "Her mother had expressed desire to donate kidney to her. But the SKIMS medical board declared her medically unfit for organ transfer".
"The moment the doctors rejected her plea to donate organ, I instantly decided to donate one of mine to save life of my dear and sweet friend," she said.
She disclosed that authorization committee of the hospital (SKIMS) is scheduled to meet tomorrow to take a final call on her organ donation.
Manjot, however, said if it prevents her from donating kidney and saving life of her friend, she would approach the court.
"I have already held consultation with female lawyer Deepika Rajawat. We have got a solid case. A girl in Rajasthan was allowed by the court to donate her kidney to save life of her friend," she said adding, "I am legally in a very strong position."
Asked whether she faces any threat or coercion from Samreen's family, Manjot said, "They are very nice people and in fact told me that since your father is opposing organ transfer, you should not do it. But I told them that I am committed to save life of my friend".