The city has witnessed several violent protests to Valentine’s Day by political parties like the Shiv Sena.
But over the years, the saffron brigade has not been as vocal.
Sena activists like Vilas Dhamala took a detour from his party’s path of protest and has been organising an organ donation camp on Valentine’s Day since last year. This year he has organised the camp at several places in Thane. The camp began on Sunday and will end today.
The camp was inaugurated near Jambli Naka on Sunday and will be held at Dnyansadhana College on Monday. Medical representatives from hospitals like Jupiter, Fortis and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital will be present at the camp as well.
“Valentine’s Day is not part of our culture. But instead of protesting, we should celebrate it in a different manner,” said Dhamale.
“So, I decided to hold an organ donation camp wherein people will have to fill up forms pledging to donate any of their organs after death or on
being brain dead,” Dhamale added. Last year, the camp had 1,963 people filling up the donation forms.
“Instead of giving a card with hearts on it, a man can donate his heart. This will be a much better expression of love. One can donate their skin as well and help burn victims,” Dhamale said.
Dhamale will be approaching the state and central government to declare February 14 as Organ Donation Day.
Apart from Dhamale, another Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik has been celebrating his own desi version of the day with senior citizens.
Sarnaik has celebrated this way since he was with the Nationalist Congress Party. When he joined the Sena he continued the tradition and has now renamed the day as ‘culture day’.