New Delhi, 14th, August, 2023, Friday — Marking the occasion of World Organ Donation Day on 13th August, Sanar International Hospitals, announced the launch of the podcast series ~ Zindagi Phir Se ~ A curated series of personal stories of organ recipients and their families, the show highlights their journey of struggle and then transformation as they receive the gift of life from donors. The series is scheduled to go LIVE on August 12th, across listening apps. Including Spotify, Gaana, iTunes, Jio Saavn, Amazon podcasts, Apple podcasts, etc.

An independent initiative by the city’s well-known HPB & Liver Transplant Surgeon, Dr. Ankur Garg at Sanar International Hospital; it is a step in the direction to educate and build further awareness on the cause that often remains unaddressed.

Talking to the media at the launch announcement conference that was held at the hospital, earlier in the day, Dr. Ankur Garg adds,“Organ donation has always been a neglected part of healthcare. There have never been enough initiatives or awareness drives either by the govt bodies or private healthcare partners. Secondly, at a societal level we are largely ignorant about the concept and to add to it religious myths and dogmas. Also as the major healthcare institutions providing organ transplant services are private healthcare providers and we as a society have lots of doubts which are not true. So I feel we should be first totally aware and informed about it before putting forward our doubts and myths”

Expressing his views on the subject, Dr. Sanjay Durani, Medical Superintendent, Sanar International Hospitals, says, “Organ donation is a life-giving and life-enhancing act. While the statement does hold a lot of meaning, it does not really suffice to encourage a larger section of the society to be a voluntary donor, due to which we are witnessing a huge gap between voluntary organ donors and recipients. There is an urgent requirement of mass level awareness in institutions like schools and colleges; to spread the correct information, especially to debunk the myths and eradicate the fear and false beliefs associated with organ donation. At Sanar International Hospitals, we support and strongly advocate voluntary organ donation. In a very short span of time since its operation, our hospital has performed close to 100 successful Organ Transplant procedures (Kidney and Liver) and also blood and marrow transplants. Donation affects more than donors and recipients. It also affects the families, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who love and support those in need of transplantation, and who benefit from their renewed life and improved health after transplant. The huge gap exists even when an individual can save up to 7-8 lives. Awareness is the key to increase organ donor ratios in India.”

Kidney and Liver are two of the most common organs transplanted with the kidney topping the list. Apart from this heart, lungs, pancreas, and small intestine are transplanted as well. Shortage of kidneys as an organ available for transplant can be made from the fact that millions of people are dialysis-dependent year after years. As there is no technology available yet to replace the functions of the liver the data around this is not as accurate but again millions of people are in need of a liver as well.

As donation is a voluntary process, the only way we can urge is to have more awareness drives and spread it around with the help and support of the media industry.

“Government can take lot of steps, the most basic ones like, introducing a small chapter of 4-5 pages about organ donation and brain death in schools and colleges. It’s not going to harm anyone. More public messages and communications from the government as it authenticates the same. As lot of brain stem deaths happen due to road traffic accidents, so at the time of applying for driving license, same can be incorporated as a small logo on it whether one wishes to be an organ donor or not in such eventuality. Also this area is a very important one for spreading awareness around and my effort here is to raise public awareness about Organ Donation and transcend the barriers of myths and misconceptions and help our country overcome the challenge of organ scarcity.”Dr. Ankur Garg , adds further.

India despite being one of the most populous nations has one of the lowest organ donation rates, as low as 0.5 per million population. At the community level we need to be more aware of the concept of organ donation and brain death. Introducing a small chapter about organ donation in schools and colleges can have tremendous effects. Healthcare institutions on a regular basis be it small or big should have articles & blogs published about the same. One brain dead donor can donate his two kidneys, a liver which again can be split and be put in one adult & one child, a heart, pancreas & small intestine as well. So saving 8 lives and also changing the lives of these 8 families and associated members, some may be the backbone of the family, someone might be the only child, someone may be a mother or anyone for that matter.

The ‘Zindagi Phir Se…’ podcast campaign seeks to harness the power of podcasting to address the critical shortage of organ donors in India. By sharing real-life stories of organ recipients, the campaign endeavors to dispel misconceptions related to organ donation while highlighting the transformative impact it has on the lives of recipients and their families. It is an eight-episode series spread over two months August and September which can be listened to on all major audio platforms.

Explaining about the campaign, Mamtaa. Dhingra, PR Consultant, Podcaster and Founder, Lateral Sutraa and promoter of the campaign , says, ” At Lateral Sutraa we are always committed to social and educational causes. After a successful campaign on Acid Attack Survivors in 2016, we are happy to collaborate with Dr. Ankur Garg for such a meaningful campaign. Public awareness plays a pivotal role in bringing about societal change. ‘Zindagi Phir Se…’ campaign is reflective of the responsibility we need to uphold, so we can collectively champion causes that matter. We aim to help the masses to develop a new approach towards organ donation this time with the new and emerging medium of podcast. Organ donation is not just about giving life—it’s about giving hope, and we believe this podcast will resonate with hearts across the nation”, she continues.