1 Donor can save 8 lives and enhance over 75 more

Isn’t this shocking that in the country where Hinduism is the oldest living religion, with numerous examples that support the idea of organ donation and transplantation mentioned in the legends we are still poor organ donors?

Where Hinduism has always considered selfless giving (daan) and compassion towards all beings, why are we so neglectful of organ donations!

In a survey focusing on why Indians are poor organ donors, it was found that lack of awareness (80.1%), religious beliefs, and superstitions (63.4%) were the most important reasons for the low organ donation rates in India.

When people are unaware of the meaning and importance of organ donation and superstitions are so deeply rooted in their minds, the chances of them making informed decisions regarding the organ donation of deceased people are very low. The first step towards remedying this situation would be educating the masses, making them aware and well-informed about the impacts that they can have on the lives of the people.

To break free from the shackles of superstitions, many people have tried to spread the message of organ donation by relating it to the ancient Hindu philosophies.

Anil Bhanot OBE, Founding Member and Director of Hindu Council UK expressed his views on organ donation-
“Hindus accumulate good Karma by selfless deeds and what better Karmic reward than to donate the body parts, especially on death when they are of no use to us, which can help others to live a better life – a Hindu tradition embedded in our scripture as evidently even in ancient India the Sage Rishi Shushruta practiced ‘transplant surgery’ with donated limbs and organs, likewise.”

The organs and tissues of a brain-dead person namely the heart, kidneys, lungs, corneas, pancreas, etc can be donated to the patients giving them a second chance at life. The legal position of organ donation in India requires a person to be declared brain dead by a panel of four doctors – a medical administrator, an authorized specialist, a neurologist, and the doctor treating the patient.

A very interesting statistic in the Publication of Neurological Society of India, Dr. Aneesh Srivastava Dr. Anil Mani claims that only (5-10%) of victims of head injury in road accidents are nearly enough to meet the needs of the organ donors of the country. Yet India is the country with the lowest levels of organ donations among many developing countries, in fact, only 0.34 per million people is the rate of deceased organ donations.

Organ donation is a mark of the donor’s humanity and gives the recipient a second chance at life. It is vital that every person recognizes the importance of organ donation as nearly 500,000 people die because of the non-availability of organs in India.


– Nishi Siroya