With just 0.65 donors per million population, India has among the lowest organ donation rates in the world. Unfortunately, lack of awareness, myths and mistrust in the system prevent people from pledging their organs and saving lives. In a unique initiative aimed at raising awareness, students from schools across Delhi-NCR came together and used their creative skills to motivate more Indians to pledge their organs.
As a run up to India’s 10th Organ Donation Day on the 27th of November, 2019, the Organ Receiving & Giving Awareness Network (ORGAN) India, an initiative of the Parashar Foundation and the Nehru Planetarium (Nehru Memorial Museum & Library) organized ‘Art for Life’ Poster Making Competition on Organ Donation. The competition was held at the Nehru Planetarium on November 25th, 2019 from 9 am to 1 pm and witnessed participation of hundreds of school students from across Delhi NCR.
The competition aimed to create awareness on the concept of Organ Donation among students and teachers, and encouraged students to articulate their thoughts on the subject through a vibrant display of their skill and imagination on canvas. It encouraged students to express the spirit of giving, which is the hallmark of the selfless act of organ donation.
The competition was organized for the students of classes 9th to 12th divided in two categories viz. Category 1 – Classes 9th & 10th and Category 2 – Classes 11th & 12th.
The theme of the competition was, ‘Organ Donation – Be a Superhero’.
Students could choose any one of the following sub themes for making their posters on the spot:
Around 157 students from 44 schools across Delhi-NCR registered and participated in the competition in an effort to create ripples in the minds of students, the best change-makers of the society,
The Chief Guest for the event was the Director of the National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), Dr. Vasanthi Ramesh, and Guest of Honour was Dr. Promila Gupta, Principal Consultant, Directorate General of Health Services, MoHFW, GOI. On behalf of Director Nehru Planetarium, NMML, Mr. Anurag and Parashar Foundation Chairperson Ms. Anika Parashar opened the event with the Guests.
The jury panel was a mix of eminent artists and experts related to organ donation. Our esteemed Jury Members included Producer and Anchor, India Ahead, Mr. Jujhar Singh; Renowned Chef Mr. Suvir Saran; Artist and Photographer Ms. Ramona Singh; Dr. Sheetal Joshi, Associate Professor, Dept. of Anatomy, Lady Harding Medical College; Mr. Kamal Khurana, General Secretary, Dadhichi Deh Daan Samiti; Dr. Kewal Krishan, Heart Transplant & LVADs Senior Consultant, Cardiac Surgeon, Max Hospital, Saket; Ms. Pallavi Kumar, Executive Director, MOHAN Foundation; Senior Artist, Nehru Planetarium, Mr. Rajesh Harsh; Graphic designer and Artist Ms. Kavita Puri Arora and Artist, Nehru Planetarium, Mr. Balachandran who spared their precious time for us.
The competition began with a welcome note by Ms. Prerna Chandra, Program Manager, Nehru Planetarium followed by a short speech by Mr. Anurag Arora, Assistant Administration Officer, Nehru Planetarium. She shared her happiness in collaborating with ORGAN India to organize such an educational event with a theme different from astronomy and for a great social cause of organ donation.
Ms. Anika Parashar, Founder of ORGAN India, an initiative of the Parashar Foundation and Chairperson of Parashar Foundation shared few words of encouragement for the students. She spoke of her own mother’s heart transplant and how it saved her life. She told students what a miracle organ donation was for her family who now have a mother and grandmother thanks to the generosity of a donor and his family.
Dr. Vasanthi Ramesh, Director, NOTTO shared few words of wisdom about organ donation and welcomed all to the competition. Finally, Dr. Promila Gupta, Principal Consultant, DGHS, MoHFW, GOI shared her thoughts and inaugurated the competition.
The competition began after the opening ceremony and students were given a time frame of 90 minutes to make their posters on the spot. They participated enthusiastically and made wonderful posters on the given theme, depicting the super heroic power of an organ donor, and why it is the need of the hour. Meanwhile, the teachers accompanying the students were shown an astronomy show by the planetarium.
The competition was followed by tea and refreshments for students and teachers and other guests. An astronomy show was also organized by the Nehru Planetarium for the students.
Students used various medium of colors such as crayons, oil pastels, sketch pens, or poster colors etc. to make their posters. Top 3 winners in each category were presented a trophy and a certificate. A Decathlon gift voucher worth INR 3000, INR 2000 and INR 1000 were presented to top 3 winners in each category, sponsored by ORGAN India, Parashar Foundation. Five students in each category were presented a mug and a certificate as an encouragement prize.
The competition was judged by a panel of eminent artists and experts related to art and organ donation. Participation in the event was through pre-registration only.
The Prizes to the winners were presented by Dr. Vasanthi Ramesh, Director, NOTTO; Mr. Anurag Arora, Assistant Administrative Officer, Nehru planetarium; Ms. Anika Parashar, Chairperson, Parashar Foundation; Mr. Vidur Parashar, Trustee, Parashar Foundation and Ms. Eeda Gujral Chopra, Trustee, The Vijaya Gujral Foundation.
Following are the very talented winners of the competition:
First Prize – Bhomik Rajlok, Class 10th, The Union Academy Sr. Sec. School, Raja Bazar
Second Prize – Shiv Sabharwal, Class 9th, The Mother’s International School, Sri Aurobindo Marg
Third Prize – Ayush Bhardwaj, Class 9th, Sachdeva Global School, Dwarka
First Prize – Khyati Rawat, Class 11th, Titiksha Public School, Rohini
Second Prize – Mubashira Khan, Class 11th, Saraswati Vidyalaya, Ansari Road, Daryaganj
Third Prize – Laiba, Class 11th, Little Flowers Public Sr. Sec. School, Shivaji Park, Shahdara
Following students, in each category, got encouragement prizes:
Category 1: Punya Kapur, 9th, Bal Bharati Public School, Pitampura; Arpita Jain, 9th, Little Flowers Public Sr. Sec. School, Shivaji Park, Shahdara; Shweta, 9th, Titiksha Public School, Rohini; Sur Gupta, 10th, Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan; Eylah Singh, 10th, Vanasthali Public School, Vasundhara, Ghaziabad.
Category 2: Naisha Mitra, 11th, Bluebells International School, Kailash Colony; Mallika Singh, 11th, The Mother’s International School, Sri Aurobindo Marg; Sumit Kumar, 11th, Titiksha Public School, Rohini; Purva Bhandari, 11th, Salwan Public School, Mayur Vihar – 3; Punpreet Kaur, 12th, Guru Harkrishan Public School.
Post the prize distribution ceremony, a thank you note was given by Ms. Sunayana Singh, CEO, ORGAN India, Parashar Foundation.
A very special thanks to Dr. N. Rathnasree, Director, Nehru Planetarium, Ms. Anika Parashar, Founder Trustee, ORGAN India, Parashar Foundation, Ms. Prerna Chandra, Program Manager, Nehru Planetarium, Mr. Mukesh Kumar, Assistant, Nehru Planetarium, Mr. Anurag Arora, Assistant Administrative Officer and their entire team for their support. Very special thanks to the volunteers Pooja, Varda and ORGAN India team for their efforts and hard work to make this program a huge success.