Organ Donors in Odisha to Receive Full State Funeral Honors, Including Tricolor Shroud and 21-Gun Salute

Organ Donors in Odisha to Receive Full State Funeral Honors, Including Tricolor Shroud and 21-Gun Salute
Organ Donors in Odisha to Receive Full State Funeral Honors, Including Tricolor Shroud and 21-Gun Salute

To promote organ donations, the Odisha Government has declared that the funerals of organ donors will receive full state honors, including the wrapping of the body in the tricolor and a 21-gun salute.

On Thursday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik highlighted that the initiative seeks to honor the bravery and selflessness of donors who strive to save the lives of others.

The initiative to honor organ donors in Odisha is expected to encourage more organ donations, as stated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Recognizing the donors will raise awareness in society about the significance of organ donation, potentially motivating more individuals to step forward.

Patnaik emphasized that organ donation is a noble act, emphasizing the crucial role played by the relatives of brain-dead individuals who make the courageous decision to donate organs, thereby saving numerous lives.

‘Suraj’ awards for organ donors

In addition to honoring organ donors with full state funeral rites, the Odisha government has taken other steps to promote organ donation. The establishment of the State Organ & Tissues Transplant Organization (SOTTO) in 2019 and the institution of the Suraj Award in 2020 are significant initiatives.

The Suraj Award, named after a youth whose relatives decided to donate his organs after he was declared brain dead following a road accident, acknowledges the profound impact of organ donation in saving lives.

Suraj, hailing from Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district of Odisha, faced a life-altering incident on October 29, 2019. While he was employed in Surat, he suffered critical injuries in a road accident. Despite extensive medical intervention, his condition failed to improve, leading to his declaration as brain dead on November 2.

Subsequently, Suraj’s parents, Babuli Sethi and Gitanjali Sethi, made the compassionate decision to donate his organs – including his heart, liver, kidneys, and eyes – to save the lives of others.

His heart was swiftly transported by plane to Fortis Hospital in Mumbai, where it was successfully transplanted into a woman. Furthermore, both his kidneys and liver found new homes in the bodies of three individuals in Ahmedabad, while his eyes were graciously donated to two individuals in Surat.

In another act, a brain-dead Odisha man donated five of his vital organs to save four lives in three states

Apart from the Suraj Award, the government provides financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to the families of organ donors.

Furthermore, on World Organ Donation Day, observed on August 13 every year, the Chief Minister personally honors the next of kin of organ donors.

Status of organ donation in India

Organs including the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, intestines, and pancreas can be donated and can be the difference between life and death for a patient in need of a transplant.

Despite efforts to promote organ donation, it remains a voluntary act, with reluctance from the kin of brain-dead patients being a common obstacle.

Maximizing the voluntary participation of such patients can save countless lives.

Nevertheless, initiatives like those undertaken by the Odisha government contribute to raising awareness and fostering a culture of organ donation across the country.

Here are some key statistics about organ donation in India

  • Between 2012 and 2019, India witnessed a notable increase in the organ donation rate, rising from 0.16 to 0.52 per million people.
  • The number of organ donors in India surged from 6,916 in 2014 to 16,041 in 2022, marking a significant rise.
  • According to data from the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation (GODT), India holds the third position globally for organ donation, trailing behind the United States and China.
  • Despite progress, India’s organ donation rate has consistently remained below one donor per million population for the past decade.

These statistics underscore both the advancements and the ongoing challenges in organ donation efforts across India. Continued awareness campaigns and policy initiatives are crucial for further enhancing organ donation rates and saving more lives through transplantation.

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