PATHANAMTHITTA: Thengamam, a village in Adoor taluk, is known chiefly for a variety of crops and dairy farming. Now, it is all set to become a village of organ donors. On August 13, the World Organ Donation Day, a group of 55 youths from Thengamam — with the help of the district medical office and the Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYK), Pathanamthitta — kicked off a campaign to make it an organ donors’ village.
And within a short span of time, as many as 400 villagers agreed to donate their organs.
The programme is being executed by Friends Samskarika Vedi, an arts and sports club functioning in the village for the past 23 years.
The village has around 1,500 residents in over 500 families. “We didn’t have any idea about the kind of response we would get when we decided to start a campaign to enlist villagers, mainly between the ages of 18 and 55, as organ donors,” said Anu C Thengamam, president of Friends Samskarika Vedi affiliated to NYK.
“Our villagers were unaware of the importance of organ donation. To our knowledge, nobody has donated organs here. But our initiative has received a good response. So far, 400 people have come forward expressing willingness to donate organs after death. We have also cleared the doubts, superstitions and other social taboos among people regarding organ donation during our door-to-door campaign. “NYK district youth officer Sandeep Krishnan P said his organisation and the district medical office are giving full support,” said Anu .
‘Confident of achieving 100% participation’
“We are also organising various activities to make the programme a complete success,” he said.
Anu, who is a BTech degree holder, said the club is optimistic of enlisting all those in the 18-55 age-group as organ donors by September.“We collect the details and photos of those interested and then upload their details on the website of the Mritasanjeevani programme of the state government. We are also trying to convey our idea to those who are out of station,” he said.
“We are confident of achieving 100% participation in this initiative,” he said. The Friends Samskarika Vedi has a WhatsApp group to coordinate its activities and share ideas. Jayakumar Chandralayam, 45, one of the founding members of the club, had masterminded various social service initiatives.
Last June, he shared the idea of an organ donation campaign. But he died the same month after contracting Covid. His untimely death shocked the club members. So they decided to work to realise his dream and started the programme in August.