Kalam does a Priyanka Chopra act!

September 15th, 2008 - 1:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Priyanka ChopraNew Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) What do former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra have in common? Both have pledged to donate their organs for transplantation when they die.Like Priyanka did some months ago, Kalam recently pledged to donate his organs to the Armed Forces Retrieval and Transplantation Authority (AORTA) at a function organised here at the Indian Army’s Research and Referral Hospital.

After inaugurating the function, Kalam declared: “I, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam, hereby pledge to donate my organs in case of brain death.”

Giving the example of one of his friends who nearly died due to a malfunctioning liver and absence of a donor, Kalam asked more and more people to pledge their organs.

“The demand for organs in the country is very huge, but the number of people donating their organs is very small. We also need some donor friendly laws in the country,” the former president said, standing besides a young beneficiary of a liver transplant at the hospital.

India has been facing a severe shortage of organs for transplantation. About 150,000 people, for instance, are diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease every year. The only way out is an organ transplant but only 3,000 people benefit from this.

AORTA was established in 2007 to promote organ donation amongst defence personnel and their families.

”However, despite the strenuous efforts, only about 2,000 serving personnel, veterans and families have pledged to donate their organs. This is a very small number but at least a beginning has been made,” said a senior army official associated with the programme.

“In a bid to meet the shortage of the organs we have also tied up with the Indian Air Force. In case a person has donated organs at a distant place, an IAF chopper or aircraft would immediately be pressed into service to enable the retrieval of the organs,” the official said.

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