Unique Festive Theme: Organ Donation
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22 September 2010
By Pratibha Masand
Residents of Durganagar in Jogeshwari have been frequently discussing organ donation since the past 10 days. Every evening, they have been coming together to watch a film on organ donation. Not in any theatre, but in their own sarvajanik Ganpati mandal.
Members of Durganagar Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal spent approximately two months and Rs 1 lakh for the Ganpati celebrations. Other than Ganpati puja and cultural programmes, their celebrations also include an awareness campaign on organ donation this year.
"Every evening, before aarti, we show this programme, where we have set up models of different organs that can be donated. We screen an audiovisual film on the stage, which tells people about the organs one by one, and how donating them can save lives," said Shankar Davande, president of the mandal.
The Marathi film explains in layman’s terms the importance of organ donation, whom to contact for donation and how selling organs is a crime. "Our film talks about how Ganpati himself is an example of organ donation, as the head of an elephant was put on his body," Devande said adding that far more people have been coming to see their pandal this year.
When the Zonal Transplant Co–ordination Center (ZTCC) realised that the mandal was working so hard to spread the message, they too helped in the campaign. "The mandal has worked very hard and is sending a correct message to the people through the film and decoration. They had come to us to get the script for the audio–visual programme approved. We realised that they had done a good job of explaining the matter in a simple language," said Sujata Ashtekar, co–ordinator of ZTCC. "We have provided the mandal with pamphlets and donor cards. The response has been good. Quite a few people have already signed donor cards and agreed to donate organs," Ashtekar added.
"I coordinate the switches behind the stage. When I grow up, I too will donate my organs," said a young boy, who is a part of the mandal.