A living organ donation seminar was held at BAPS Hindu Community in West London on Tuesday 18 June 2019.
More than 140 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.
Vikesh Patel, a lead volunteer for BAPS in West London, added, “The seminar today highlighted and brought significant awareness around such an important topic of living organ donation within the Hindu communities, one which is not always spoken about. As we informed our own communities, we strive to continue working alongside other leading Hindu communities to bring this awareness to the forefront. During the talk today, we explored the history, the need in our Hindu communities and how one can support this cause."