Thursday, July 19, 2012

Green Heart-Driver's License - soon to be a reality!

With less than one-in-a-million organ donors in India and with over 3 million deaths since 2005 due to non-availability of organs, there is a great need to educate the citizens of our country about organ donation. While there are numerous channels that needs to be explored to help spread the word around, none of them would be successful without the support of State and Central government.

We, at Gift Your Organ Foundation, have been working continuously to open doors in the government sectors so they realize the importance of building mass channels for creating awareness in India. In a path breaking decision, finally taken by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka and the Department of Transport, Government of Karnataka, Gift Your Organ Foundation in support with ZCCK will now introduce the organ donation option when an individual applies for a new / renew driver's license in Karnataka. Those opting to become an organ donor will receive a "Green Heart-Driver’s License" card.

Every month approximately 1.15 lakh Driver’s License cards are being issued in Karnataka alone hence this platform is great way to reach out to the public at large to educate them about organ donation. The transport department plans to initiate the project at the Electronic City RTO, which will be treated as a pilot, for a period of two months. After gauging the response for the pilot, the project will be extended to all RTOs in the city and then the entire state.

Associated impact of this initiative*
From 2008 till the 31st of January 2012, Zonal Co-ordination Committee in Karnataka for Transplantation (ZCCK), which is a government body overlooking the organ transplantation process in the State has received a total of 1072 pledges. In January 2012 alone, there were 1,13,952 driver’s license applicants either applying for fresh licenses or for renewals. Even if 50% of these choose to pledge their organs, the number of pledges in one month will be 55 times that of the number of pledges received by ZCCK over the last 4 years! There is no doubt that this will dramatically change the number of deceased organ donors in Karnataka. Currently the numbers are dismal (3 in 2007; 2 in 2008; 11 in 2009; 8 in 2010 and 6 in 2011). 

The success of this initiative will help us build a scalable model that will then be replicated across RTOs and then across cities.

The entire team at Gift Your Organ Foundation is obliged with the support that has been extended to us by the ZCCK and the confidence that the Karnataka Ministry has shown on us in helping change the face of organ donation in Karnataka. We are committed to this effort and will bring in a revolution that will help save lives.

Are you with us? Do voice your views here, we are listening!

*All data is based on publicly available data across various internet sites and is only an indication.

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