“Rally for Life” – A Bikethon for Organ Donation in Tamil Nadu
"Rally for Life" - the motorbike rally, organi sed by MOHAN Foundati on, to promote organ donation awareness was flagged off on 09.09.09 at 09:09:09 a.m. by Thiru T. Rajendran IPS, Commissioner of Police, from Loyola College, Chennai. The day was unique and so was the theme - ONE organ donor can save NINE lives.
The reason for undertaking this rally was the spurt in organ donation activity in the state from October 2008 - 1 0 9 o r g a n s f r om 3 6 d e c e a s e d donors over a period of nine months. MOHAN Foundation felt that this was the right time, literally, to take home the organ donation message to as many places in Tamil Nadu as possible. The six rally members, young men in their 20s working in different corporates have been friends since school. They wanted to make a di ffer en ce to soc iet y thr ough the ir huma nitarian work and expressed their wi llingness to undertake the 2000 km rally on their motorbikes. T h e r a l l y c o v e r e d n i n e ma j o r locations in Tamil Nadu – Vellore, Salem, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Dindigul, Trichy, Thanjavur – and Pondicherry. At each of these locations, a function was held to felicitate organ donor families in that area as they are the true ambassadors of the deceased organ donation programme. In addition, organ donation awareness talks were also held. The enthusiasm and the meticulous organisation by the hosts (doctors and hospitals) in each of the locations ensured that the rally went through in a seamless fashion.
The closing ceremony of “Rally for Life” th was held on 20 September 2009, but it mark ed th e beginning of anoth er campaign - a campaign to include the ' clause of organ donation on the driving license.' With 1,40,000 deaths on the road and almost 1,00,000 of them being brain death annually, this simple inclusion on the driving license has the power to save many lives and wipe away the shortage of organs. The special guests on the day were Mr. Syed Munir Hoda, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Mr. S. Machendranathan, IAS, Transport Commissioner and popular a ct o r / d i r ect o r a n d s o ci a l a ct i v i s t , Ms. Revathy Menon. The highlight of the event was that 2500 signatures were handed over by Ms. Revathy Menon to Mr. Machendranathan supporting a request to incorporate an organ donation clause in the driving license.
The “Rally for Life” marked the coming together of doctors, hospitals, NGOs, corporates, and individuals from different walks of life to endorse a gift that is priceless and invaluable – the gift of life.
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- Keywords: Rally for Life, Bikethon, Tamil Nadu