A living organ donation seminar was held at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Preston, on Saturday 20 April 2019.
More than 100 people attended the seminar, which forms part of an ongoing campaign organised by BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha to raise awareness about living organ donation amongst Hindus in the UK.
Organ donation is the giving of an organ to someone who needs it, to save or transform their life. There are two ways of donating an organ: a living donation or a donation after death. A living donor is someone who donates an organ whilst they are alive, most commonly a kidney.
The seminar included an educational presentation about the medical benefits of living organ donation, and provided practical guidance on how to improve organ donation rates among the Hindu community. It especially reiterated the act of donating an organ in line with the core Hindu values of ‘seva’ and ‘daan’, i.e. selfless giving.
The audience was also shown an informative video documentary produced by BAPS with support from NHS Blood and Transplant and the National BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) Transplant Association. It shared testimonies from kidney donors, organ recipients, medical professionals and Hindu representatives as well as blessings from His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj encouraging everyone to consider this great act of religious merit.
After the seminar, attendees were given a leaflet that provided a useful summary of the information and next steps.
Ghanshyam Limbachia, a lead volunteer for BAPS in Preston, added, “These kinds of events are crucial in creating awareness and spreading the life-saving message of organ donation amongst the various local Hindu communities here in Preston. Daan, the act of selfless giving in this manner, can not only improve but ultimately save the lives of loved ones around us. Hopefully, we and others can do more to promote this initiative going forward."