Taking a step towards creating awareness and solving problem of organ donation, the UT administration has started giving an option for ‘organ donation on driver’s licence’ in the city.
With it, Chandigarh has become the second state/UT to do so in the country. Karnataka is the other state that uses this option on driver’s licence.
Now, the driver’s licence application form has an option of OD - organ donor for pledging organs. The driver’s licence of residents, who tick the option of organ donation in the form, will show ‘OD’ in red colour, that will imply that he/she is an ‘organ donor’.
The concept to incorporate the option of ‘pledging of organ donation on driver’s licence’ was proposed by professor, department of hepatology, PGI, Dr RK Dhiman. The professor had mooted the idea in 2012 and it took him three years to get it approved.
“I am thankful to the UT administrator who approved the idea. Had it been approved earlier by previous administrators, the city would have been the first state to implement the same,” said Dhiman.
“On August 27, the transport department had forwarded the concept to the ministry of road, transport and highways, Parivahan Bhawan, New Delhi, to get permission. The final node of approval from the ministry came in October,” mentioned the official release.
Shortage of organ donors
In India, there is a huge gap between organ recipients and donors. As a result, thousands of lives are lost in the wait of organ donors. Every year, over 2 lakh people in India are diagnosed with kidney failure and more than two lakh people die every year from liver failure.
In Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), 50 patients are waiting for liver transplant and hundreds are waiting for kidney transplant.
How this step will make a difference
“It will create awareness about organ donation and will also help transplant co-coordinators to convince families of brain-dead patients. At the moment, people are reluctant,” said Dr Dhiman.
Organ donation programme at PGI
There is an organ donation programme in PGI. To donate, an organ donor can login to organ donation website (www.lampoflife.in) or can call at 7087008586.
PGI also issues organ donation cards that can be kept in wallet or in a purse.
This year, PGI got 25 deceased organ donors; nine from Himachal Pradesh, seven from Punjab and Haryana each; and one each from Chandigarh and Bihar. Ninety five patients benefited from the organs retrieved from these donors.