LONDON: An Indian priest has launched a charity voluntary organisation in Britain to encourage more organ donors from South Asian communities especially Indians.
Father Davis Chiramel, chairman of Kidney Federation of India, who is popularly known as "Kidney Father From Kerala", launched the group tilted 'Upahaar' in Britain to attract more organ donors from South Asia particularly Indians, the Asian Lite ethnic newspaper reported.
More than 1,200 patients from Asian communities in Britain are waiting for a matching kidney donor.
The state-funded National Health Service (NHS) is spending millions of pounds from its stretched budget to treat these patients through dialysis and medicines on a daily basis.
Kidney transplant of these patients will ease the pressure on the cash-strapped NHS.
Sibby Thomas, 47, a volunteer of Upahaar and hailing from Kerala, has already undergone operation to donate one of his kidneys to ailing 15-year-old Risa Mol.
Chiramel was present London's prestigious Guy's Hospital throughout the 5-hr operation to support Sibby and his family.
Francis Mathew, President of the UK Malayalee Association (UKMA), has said he will join the donor list very soon.
Another prominent Kerala organisation Federation of British Malayalees is also offering its support.
The father is prompting more organisations and individuals to join the list and there are many takers from the Kerala community in Britain.
There are nearly 200,000 Keralites living in Britain. Most of them are working in the NHS as nurses and doctors.
Chiramel, who donated one of his kidneys to a stranger to launch Kidney Federation of India in 2009, has prompted millions to join the organ donation register in his native Kerala.
Chiramel said Siby is an example for the community to emulate.
"We need more people like Siby to spread love and compassion," Chiramel told Asian Lite.
"Life is a gift of God and its value increases by sharing with fellow human beings. I believe Upahaar will spread the message of saving and sharing precious life with people in distress," he said.
The Catholic priest from Kerala will launch a 15-day national campaign under the banner of Upahaar on May 23 at Trafford near Manchester, the birth place of the NHS, to promote blood, organ and stem cell donation.
The campaign titled "Gift of Life" will be supported by several prominent figures from the Indian medical fraternity.
The campaign will end in London after visiting several cities in the North, Midlands and South.