Saffron Day: Remembering Deyaan

By Bhushan Salunke
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Jospephs Gate

It is a heart-breaking moment for any parent to witness their seven-year-old son die in their presence.

This tragedy occurred to the Udani family, living in Australia, when they were on a holiday trip to India in 2016. Deyaan, their 7-year old bubbly son, succumbed to unexpected brain haemorrhage and passed away.

Just a couple of months before, Deyaan had learnt about organ donation in his school. He had come home excited and expressed his intention to becoming an organ donor. It was as if there had been a divine intervention in the matter. Honouring his wishes, Deyaan’s parents donated his heart, kidneys, liver and eyes to successful recipients in India.

Motivated by Deyaan’s noble wish, his parents have started a campaign called the “Saffron Day” to raise an awareness regarding organ donation in about 10 countries including Australia, India, Australia, UK, USA etc. Saffron Day is on 22 October, a day people can pledge to become organ & tissue donors and wear something orange to remember Deeyan by.

Said Rupesh, Deyaan’s dad, “In order to honour Deyaan’s life and to encourage others to register to be a donor, we came up with the idea of Saffron Day. Saffron has a lot of significance for us. It was Deyaan’s favourite colour and represents sacrifice, courage and strength

To join the Australian Organ Donation register, go to www.donatelife.gov.au or saffronday.org

A record number of NSW families said yes to organ and tissue donation in 2018. In NSW, 388 lives were saved through an organ transplant due to the generosity of 151 deceased donors and their families. This was a 12% increase from 2017 and a 122% increase from 2019. Despite this, there are still 1400 Australians on organ transplant wait lists at any point.

Since the Saffron Day campaign in Mumbai, the public awareness in organ donation has skyrocketed and Mumbai is now the leading organ donation city in India. Saffron Day is working together with Donate Life, Srimad Rajchandra Mission, Dharampur and many other organisations/bodies for raising the organ donation awareness through education and seminars.

Rupesh and Mili Udani, Deyaan’s parents, are tirelessly campaigning to raise the awareness in organ donation through education and seminars. Rupesh has travelled across Australia, communicating the purpose of Saffron Day.

Said Rupesh, “People are scared to discuss death, as it is still a taboo issue. Some put up religious barricades against it, even though the Hindu scriptures endorse organ donation. There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the subject which need dispelling”.

Give organ & tissue donation a serious thought. It is the best parting gift you can ever give and continue to live on, even after death.

 

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