Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. 8 Issue NO.: 26 (Feb-Jun 2008)
Print ISSN 0972 - 1568

“Organ-a-thon” – A bike-a-thon for organ donation awareness

Indian Transplant Newsletter.
Vol. 8 Issue NO.: 26 (Feb-Jun 2008)
Print ISSN 0972 - 1568
Print PDF

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. MOHAN Foundation has been striving over the past decade to involve people from different walks of life to join it in its journey to create awareness about organ donation. The post-graduate students from the Social Work Department of D. G. Vaishnav College,  Arumbakkam, Chennai, helped fast-track this journey by organising an organ-a-thon on bikes on 4th March 2008.

Organ donation was one of the themes chosen by the students for their live labs project and it was executed meticulously from start to finish. The organ-a-thon was flagged off from D. G. Vaishnav College. About 60 students on their bikes participated in the event. Holding placards on organ donation they passed through Anna Nagar and its vicinity. They also distributed brochures on organ donation along the route.

 In the evening a special programme on organ donation was held at the college. The Chief Guest was Dr. Poongothai Aladi Aruna, Social Welfare Minister, Government of Tamil Nadu. Speaking on the occasion, she said that it was important to not only educate the public but also doctors about brain death and organ donation. Grief counsellors must be employed in hospitals so that they can offer support to families who are grappling with the loss of a loved one and motivate them to consider organ donation, she said.


Dr. Poongothai felt that the student community could be instrumental in creating an attitudinal change in society about organ donation. She also called upon experts in the field of organ donation and transplantation to put together their suggestions to streamline procedures which could be incorporated into government policy.

Dr. C.M.K. Reddy, President, Tamil Nadu Medical Practitioners Association, Dr. Sunil Shroff , Managing Trustee, Multi Organ Harvesting Aid Network (MOHAN), Mr. Balu Mahendra, film director were special invitees at the function. Mr. S. Narasimhan, Principal, D.G. Vaishnav College was also present.

Dr. C.M.K. Reddy emphasized the need to donate one’s organs given the growing numbers of people with organ failure. Dr.Sunil Shroff gave a lucid presentation on brain death and organ donation. He also spoke about the active role that MOHAN Foundation has been playing in reaching this concept to the public, patients and physicians.

Mr. Balu Mahendra, eminent film director, said that the only way to beat death was to leave something of ourselves behind and the only way to do that was through donating one’s organs. He also said that he would be glad to direct a documentary film on organ donation to enable the message to reach the people.


The most moving moment on the occasion how donating the organs of his late wife, Mrs. Kannambal, offered him solace even five years after her death. Mrs. Kannambal was declared brain dead after sustaining a head injury in a road traffi c accident in 2003. She was the Nursing Superintendent at Sir Ivan Stedford Hospital, Ambattur, Chennai. Mr. Chandrasekharan said that in the true spirit of her profession she continued to help patients even after her death. Her eyes, kidneys and liver were donated and as a result five people got a new lease of life. Organ donation is truly the “Gift of Life.”

To cite : Shroff S, Navin S. “Organ-a-thon” – A bike-a-thon for organ donation awareness. Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. 8 Issue NO.: 26 (Feb-Jun 2008).
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