Pune doctors gift wedding guests chance to save lives

Updated on Dec 26, 2017 11:14 PM IST
At their wedding, the couple decided to spread awareness about organ donation by pledging to donate their organs and encouraging guests to fill out consent forms to do the same.
Dr Pratik Raut and his bride Dr Uttara sign the organ donation forms at their wedding on December 24.(HT PHOTO)
Dr Pratik Raut and his bride Dr Uttara sign the organ donation forms at their wedding on December 24.(HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, Pune | ByAnanya Barua

Weddings are special, but this Pune-based doctor couple took the occasion in a different direction. To make their special day mean something special for the larger good of society, their wedding day was all about organ donation

“We wanted the day to be special for us, our family and friends, but also to mean much more. An event like this is not something people usually expect at weddings, but we wanted to make a true difference to society amidst all the celebration,” said Dr Uttara (Deshpande) Raut, the bride and a forensic odontologist.

The groom, Dr Pratik Raut, an oral and maxillo-facial surgeon, married Dr Uttara on December 24.

At their wedding, the couple decided to spread awareness about organ donation by pledging to donate their organs and encouraging guests to fill out consent forms to do the same.

“One single donor can save almost eight lives. It is something people should be aware of and volunteer for,” said the groom, Dr Raut. Speaking about the driving force behind the initiative, he added, “Collectively, in our medical careers, we have seen several cases where patients have been in dire need of organs and how their lives could have been saved if donors were found in time. Further, unlike blood donation, not much awareness exists in society in terms of organ donation.”

Realising the guests at their wedding function would offer a golden opportunity to spread awareness, Dr Raut initiated the action just before the wedding rituals. “Our wedding had almost 1,000 guests and we wanted to make good use of this opportunity. So, just before the rituals we held a presentation on organ donation, and then, volunteers of Rebirth Foundation guided interested individuals on the information. We signed two consent forms to donate our organs and many followed.”

Special tables, along side the lunch tables, were set up by Rebirth for attendants to clarify queries about organ donation and for filling the forms.

A total of 25 individuals came forward to fill consent forms, besides the wedding couple. A flood of queries also reached the desk following the presentation, according to founder of Rebirth, Rajesh Shetty.

When asked what deterred most people, in general, from organ donation, he said, “There exists a lot of misconception around organ donation, most of which is associated with superstitions binding the act as a taboo. Also there is a lack of awareness which is causing it, and initiatives like these can help bridge the gap,” Shetty said. Dr Uttara Raut further added that both their families welcomed the idea.

“We saw the posters of the foundation at a restaurant and enquired with them as to how we could organise such an initiative during our wedding. The rest of it, fell into place,” said Dr Uttara.

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