To make the public at-large aware of this menace that is slowing everything down, I share that mail here (with my friend's permission) -
"Last Saturday morning at around 5.40 am I received a call from my cousin that my grand father (Nana) Mr Sohanlal Sanghvi (a respected naturopath & yoga expert), age 95, had passed away and that the elders of the family have expressed a desire to donate the eyes of my Nana.
I immediately called up Abhilasha Mimani who was travelling and Ayush Jain who was kind enough to immediately scout for the number of the right person and also make a trip to Indore's biggest government hospital (name being withheld) as nobody on their board number cared enough to take the call. Ayush gave me the number of Mr Sandeepan Arya - 93032 59844 who works with Muskaan (an NGO). Mr Arya was kind enough to immediately respond to our request and gave us some instructions over the phone on the precautions that we should take with the body like not switching on the fan and keeping a moist towel over the eyes. The entire team from Geeta Bhawan along with the doctor were at the location within an hour and removed the eyes and covered it such that nobody could tell the difference. Mr Arya also suggested then that we could donate the skin. Thanks to Dr Manish Patel and Abhilasha, last year we had a session on Skin Donation by Yi and I had a clear understanding of the process. I assured the family that the body wont get mutilated as only a thin layer of the skin is taken from the back and thighs. Immediately we called up Dr Shobha Chimaniya of Choithram Hospital and their team was on the way. Since my Nana had devoted his life to the wellbeing of the ill, the family took the bold decision in a difficult time like this of donating the entire body to the biggest government Medical College of Indore (name being withheld). Again Mr Arya took the initiative of calling the head of Anatomy, the dean of the college etc. It took an hour and over 50 calls to realize that the body can be donated within 4 hours from the time of death (we had another 2 hours), and that the dead should have filled up a form of his acceptance. Even after the entire family backing the body donation, the medical college refused to take the body and kept on passing the buck. Some other private medical colleges were willing to take the body but we didn't want to give the body to a private college which charged lacs for admission. Moreover, the family was hurt because of the bureaucracy and decided to conduct the funeral instead.
How many families are in the right frame of mind on a death in the family to think of Donating an organ? Isn't the Government Medical College short of resources? Wouldn't it be right for the Dean of the College / Head of the Anatomy to have himself come, thanked the family for doing a noble deed, and respectfully take the body? Is my family the only one to have faced this? If not, then why isnt the media and the govt taking up this matter? After a humiliation like this, who would in his / her right sense ever think of donating a body to the medical college?
Though I recommend eyes and skin donation, and so did the family, it took me a while to convince my mother (who was traveling and shaken by the news of the death) that donating the body is a good deed and will help the students to become better doctors and eventually save lives. I wonder if I am over enthusiastic about helping others and whether I should stop worrying about the world and let it go to the dogs if so.
If somebody has a proactive and positive suggestion on this then please let me know. Although there is bureaucracy and un-thankful people in the govt, I know there are sufficient needy and good people too.
Hey Anuj, we all truly appreciate your spirit. And this pain of yours is being shared with many young minds across the country through this blog. I am sure good suggestions will pour in, and everyone who reads this will understand the importance of organ donation, of ensuring that the machinery is made to work the right way, and maybe also to protest for a right cause.