Mumbai: In what may be referred to as a breakthrough in spreading awareness about organ donation, the state of Rajasthan issued state’s first ever driving licence with a logo of ‘organ donor’. The logo, which was launched earlier this month, implies that the person has pledged his organs and in case of any mishap, the doctors can retrieve his/her organs after due consent from the family. The significant move aims to save lives of people with organ failure and encourage everyone, especially the younger generation to donate their organs.
“The new addition in the application form for driver’s licence will definitely spread awareness about organ donation. On seeing this option, people will at least consider it if not pledge their organs immediately. The state transport department has included the option in the online application form and we appeal everyone to tick the box,” says K K Aggarwal, Additional Chief Secretary, Rajasthan Transport Department.
The move by the state government comes in after The Union Ministry of Road Transport issued an advisory asking all Regional Transport Offices (RTO) across the country to add a column in the application form for driving licence in April this year.
Speaking to NDTV about the initiative taken by the Union government, Bhavna Jagwani, the woman behind pursuing the cause and also the licence holder with organ donation logo says,
We have been pursuing the government to add a column of organ donation in the driving licence form since the last two years. The aim behind this is simple – to encourage more and more people to pledge their organs. Many people are declared brain dead in road accidents and so there is no way for the family to know their consent. Selecting the column of organ donation in their application will make easier and help save many lives. By issuing a gazette notification, any state can add the column and make organ donation an easy process.
Further elaborating on how it will reduce organ trafficking, Ms Jagwani from MOHAN foundation, an organisation that works in the field of deceased organ donation and transplantation, says,
The gap between demand and supply of organs is huge in India. Because the demand is high, people engage in illegal trade of organs to earn money. Through this initiative if we can retrieve organs of even half the people who don’t survive in road accidents then the gap can be reduced, thus reducing organ trafficking.
Government data indicates, against a current requirement of one to two lakh kidneys, only about 5,000 transplantations are being done annually. Similarly, against a requirement of 30,000 liver transplantation requirements, about 1,000 are being done.
Compare this figure with the number of fatal road accidents. In 2015, 1,50,00 deaths took place due to road mishaps. People were seen as potential organ donors says Ms Jagwani.