THE Jain community in the UK has partnered with the NHS blood and transplant (NHSBT) to promote organ donation during the religion’s annual festival Paryushan this year.
A special film, produced with NHSBT, to highlight the Jain message on organ donation will be launched on 15 August 2020, the first day of Paryushan, and will be shared extensively within the community.
“Organ donation is possibly the biggest act of compassion we can perform. Giving someone else a part of your body is to make them more complete and to have a more fulfilling life,” said Nemubhai Chandaria OBE, co-ordinator of OneJAIN.
The law on organ donation after death changed in England from 20 May 2020 to ‘opt out’. Now, all adults will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have registered a decision not to donate or are in an excluded group.
In March 2019, there were 1,006 Asians waiting for an organ transplant and in the year 2018-19, there were only 56 Asians who donated their organs after death. Asians on the organ donor register, on average, have to wait longer to receive a transplant and regrettably many people die while waiting for an organ donation.
“Jains view donation as an act of willingly parting with their organs to help others. Paryushan is a period of compassion towards all living beings and a time to donate to save lives (Jiv Daya),” said Manharbhai Mehta, chairman of Vanik Council UK.
“In the context of the changein law on organ donation in England this year, it is important to record your positive wishes to register to donate organs and to tell your family.”
Organisations like Vanik Council UK, Oshwal Association UK, Jain Network UK and Veerayatan UK are campaigning to increase the awareness about organ donation within the Jain community.
Hiren Vora, president of Jain Samaj Manchester, said, “Organ donors exemplify unconditional love towards another. A donor’s impact is felt for many years and also helps to follow the virtue of Aparigraha – non possessiveness in Jainism. Be someone’s guardian angel today”
The Paryushan is eight days of repentance for the acts of the previous year to shed one’s accumulated Karmas.
For more details- www.organdonation.nhs.uk or phone 0300 303 2094.