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Kidney forum that touches hearts

A group of people in Assam has proved that kidney, rather the lack of one, can unite - and touch hearts too, reports Rahul Karmakar.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 00:21 IST

A group of people in Assam has proved that kidney, rather the lack of one, can unite - and touch hearts too.

The All Assam Kidney Transplant Forum (ALKTF), founded in December last year to create awareness about kidney transplants, diseases and their management, now has 361 members.

It made the likes of Anjumani Dey, BC Jain, Kiran Gogoi and Zakir Hussain — they have nothing in common besides their transplanted organ — come together to pool resources and generate funds for those who cannot otherwise afford a transplant or carry on with expensive post-operation medication.

“Even if one manages to go for transplant, many usually cannot afford to dish out Rs 13,000-19,000 a month on life-saving drugs like cyclosporine, azohioprine and prednisolone,” ALKTF president Bhupen Sarmah told HT. “We have sought tax relief on such drugs besides appealing to the government for separate relief funds for kidney patients since iron- and arsenic-laced water in Assam are telling on the kidneys.”

ALKTF is waiting for the government’s response, but in the meantime has been creating a fund to help its members who need financial help. The Forum also brings out a magazine called ‘Kidney Care’ that tries to generate funds through advertisements.

Nephrologists do their bit for the forum. According to Nandita Choudhury, retired head of Gauhati Medical College Hospital’s nephrology department, incidence of chronic kidney disease has been increasing in Assam.

Behind the walls

With the launch of its quarterly, Momentum, the Amritsar Central Jail becomes the first prison in the country to have a publication.

The 12-page coloured English language magazine aims to tell those on the outside what has been going on behind the walls. Dr Kiran Bedi, Director General, Bureau of Police Research and Development, recently released the magazine.