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Chandigarh Now Provides the Option for Pledging of Organ Donation on Driving Licenses

You will be pleased to know that Chandigarh Administration has started the option for “Organ Donation on Driving License” in Chandigarh from October 2015. Thus Chandigarh has become the second state/UT to do so in India. Now application form for driving license has an option for pledging organs. Those who give an option for organ donation in driving license form; their driving license will show “OD”, which means “ORGAN DONOR”. Please see the enclosed driving license issued on 2 Nov 2015. Thanks to Mr. Vijay Kumar Dev, Advisor to Administrator, Chandigarh, who expedited this process of Option of Organ Donation on driving license and to Mr Kashish Mittal, Deputy Commissioner and Registrar, Licensing Authority, who have also implemented this option on driving license with immediate effect.

Prof. R.K. DhimanEarlier Chandigarh Administration has accepted the concept of ‘Pledging of Organ Donation on Driving License’ in Chandigarh, which was proposed by Dr RK Dhiman, Organ Donation Coordinator, PGIMER and Professor, Department of Hepatology, PGIMER, Chandiagrh. The Chandigarh Administration’s Transport Department forwarded the request by Prof RK Dhiman to Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, Parivahan Bhawan, New Delhi on 27 August 2015 for the permission to incorporate the option for ‘Organ Donation Pledging’ on driving Licence issued in U.T, Chandigarh (copy of order enclosed). The final node of approval from the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, Parivahan Bhawan, New Delhi came in October 2015.

Option of “Organ Donation” is a usual practice in Western Countries including USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia etc. In India, Karnataka Government has started this option on driving License. Chandigarh has become the second state/UT to do so.

The PGIMER, Chandigarh also gives an option for ‘Organ Donation Pledging’ on Identity Cards of its employees. (Copy enclosed).

PROBLEM OF ORGAN SHORTAGE
In India the awareness on organ donation is very less but the need of organ is very much higher. It is estimated that in India every year over 200,000 people are diagnosed to have kidney failure and would need transplantation. At the same time more than 200 000 people die in India every year from liver failure without any hope of receiving a transplant. Organ donation takes healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another. Experts say that the organs from one brain-dead donor can help many people. Organs you can donate include: kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, skin, bone and bone marrow, cornea, etc.

WHY SHOULD DRIVING LICENSE HAVE AN OPTION FOR ORGAN DONATION?
World Health Organization (WHO) in its first ever Global Status Report on Road Safety in 2010 revealed that India registered over 1,30,000 roadside deaths annually; the country has overtaken China and now has the worst road traffic accident rate worldwide. In India alone, the death toll rose to 14 per hour in 2009 as opposed to 13 the previous year, according to the latest report of National Crime Records Bureau or NCRB. While trucks and two-wheelers were responsible for over 40 per cent of deaths, peak traffic during the afternoon and evening rush hours is the most dangerous time to be on the roads.

Driving license might be a mean to express the desire to be an 'Organ Donor'. Individuals should only be allowed to get new driving license unless they answer a question about whether they want to donate their organs after death (Yes/No). This may not only improve awareness about organ donation but also 'Organ Donation' per se.

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