07 EV Sreekumar - Photo journalist - Malayala Manorama

Braving all odds

An emotional moment captured when Sujatha (right) tenderly and lovingly holds the hands of her dead husband Vinod, now transplanted to Amaresh Hanumappa from the neighbouring state of Karnataka in a complicated surgery done at Amritha Hospital in Kochi city in Kerala.

Sujatha’s husband Vinod had earlier died in a road accident and she had bravely brushed aside stiff resistance and verbal abuse  from her in laws for her decision to donate the organs.  The complicated procedure was performed successfully by the doctors of the Centre of plastic and reconstructive surgery of the hospital.

Meanwhile Amaresh an Electricity board worker from Gulbarga Electricity Supply Company in Yadgir, Karnataka , had lost both his lower arms in a high voltage electric accident.  He had lost all hope when he got a call from the hospital authorities.

Standing beside Sujatha are her daughter Neethu, grandson Ishaan and sister Prasanna along with the doctors who performed the surgery.

India has an abysmally low rates of deceased organ donation as compared to the western world. It is estimated that approximately five lakh people die  in India every year that, otherwise, could have been prevented by timely organ transplant. At least 15 patients die waiting for an organ transplant daily and every 10 minutes, a new name is added to this ever-growing waiting list. Organ donation rates in India sit at 0.01 percent; a miniscule figure in comparison to other countries.

Sujata still lives in a rented house in Quilon district in Kerala and has severe health issues.

Though authorities had promised her the sky none seems to have materialised. Her daughter Neethu lives with her husband a kilometre away and helps her mother in whatever way she can manage.


Published - Theweek.in, November 2022