All of 25, Ayushi Dutta is on a mission to spread awareness about organ donation among the tribal people in Madhya Pradesh. The mission began three years ago when she donated a kidney to her mother Anuradha.
“Our freedom fighters sacrificed their lives for Independence. Though we got Independence, some taboos still exist in society… We need to spread awareness to eradicate such taboos,” says the crusader from Jhabua town.
Ayushi devotes her time to campaign through her NGO ‘Ek Prayas’ and conducts workshops on organ donation at schools in Jhabua and Alirajpur districts. Social media comes handy for Ayushi to dispel misconception about organ donation among the tribals.
“As literacy rate in Jhabua and Alirajpur district is much lower compared to the national level, there is a huge misconception about organ donation among the tribal. Many feel that if they donate their organ, god will punish them,” Ayushi says.
“In such cases, we need to educate them with the help of science. I explain to people about organ transplant and donation by citing my own story.”
Organ donations are of three types - live related, live unrelated and cadaver organ donation. In the first category, donor and recipient are part of a family. Living unrelated donations involve non-family parties. A brain-dead person can save as many as eight lives, with the donation of organs such as lungs, liver, heart, pancreas and kidneys. In India, the scene is dismal as only 0.08 % people pledge to donate their organs.
Her campaign is slowly reaping dividend, with a number of villagers giving consent to organ donation. Alirajpur district collector Shekhar Verma has praised Ayushi’s mission and assured all help in her endeavour.