But for one apprehension, East of Kailash resident Lajpat Rai Saini, 79, is a content man with a successful law practice, secure old age, a house in tony south Delhi colony and a happy family.
Saini has pledged his body for organ/whole body donation after death but he fears his family will not let it happen. "Although my son has signed as a witness, I am not at all sure if my wish would be followed," Saini says.
"I think that being a source of life to another human being is the greatest achievement," reads a line from his will. Apart from making a will to this effect, Saini has duly registered himself with the Organ Retrieval Banking Organisation (ORBO) at AIIMS.
His wife, Bimla, 75, does not have any problem with her husband’s wish/will, but insists, "I want the traditional cremation." son Sanjay rules out his apprehensions, “There shouldn’t be any problem from our side. We would do as he wishes.”
Despite his apprehension, Saini is lucky that his family claims to respects his wish. Because, if they say no, doctors at ORBO can do nothing more than plead for donation.
"Organ donation or whole body donation is not an individual opinion, but a family decision. As per the law, after the death of the prospective donor, we need to get family’s consent again," points out Dr Arti Vij, who heads ORBO.
The ORBO registry has already crossed 13,000. On an average it receives about 14 whole body donations a year apart from single/multiple organ donations.
The ORBO team conducts public interactive programmes at the invitation of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), schools/colleges and private companies etc. NGOs like Dadhichi Dehdaan Samiti too work for spreading awareness and facilitating organ donation and whole body donation.
Dadhichi’s Alok Kumar observes, "If the donor requests, we meet the family members to convince them."
Another way is to call such families to their annual meet Dehdaaniyon Ka Utsav (celebration of prospective body donors) wherein videos about organ donations, speeches by spiritually inclined persons and felicitation of family members of past donors takes place. "Functions like these prove immensely helpful."
Dadhichi has 1,650 registered donors for organ/whole body donation and facilitated 88 cases till February first week since June 1998.