Pune: NGO ‘Spreading Hope’ has collaborated with experts from various fields, who are helping accomplish a mission on creating awareness on kidney disease and the importance of organ donation. DaVita, a Fortune 200 dialysis provider, is the principal contributor to the cause. The aim of the drive is to spread awareness on kidney disease through classroom-type sessions, conduct no-cost kidney screenings and raise awareness on organ donation.
Lourd Vijay, the professional dancer and Guinness World Record holder, is all set to drive his social responsibility initiative called ‘Spreading Hope’, on a mission to raise nationwide awareness on kidney disease and the importance of organ donation.
Lourd Vijay got diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in 2013 and underwent a transplant in 2016. Through Spreading Hope, he aims to drive from Chennai to Ladakh, covering 9,000 km, to spread awareness about the seriousness of kidney disease and inspire ten million people to pledge their organs and save lives. The purpose is to engage with the government, corporates, educational and health care institutions to support the cause.
Vijay noted that battling the illness for more than three years and going through an organ transplant was a traumatic experience for him, personally and professionally.
“CKD has changed the way I look at life. It has given me a new purpose and that’s how I started the mission ‘Spreading Hope’. This mission is a mammoth task of raising awareness on kidney disease and organ donation. The first activity of this mission is to drive from Chennai to Ladakh, spreading the cause. Awareness of kidney disease risks in India is very low and people are very resistant to the concept of organ donation. My mission is to help interested people convince their families and willingly register as donors,” he further noted.
Aditya Singh, Managing Director, DaVita Care (India) Pvt Ltd, said kidney disease is a silent killer, and awareness about it remains significantly low in India.
“It is important to detect the risk of kidney disease early on, so that progression of end stage renal disease can be slowed. Through our association with the ‘Spreading Hope’ drive, we hope to help increase awareness of the same,” noted Singh. Dr Avinash Ignatius, Senior Consultant Nephrologist with DaVita Care (India) Pvt Ltd in Pune, mentioned that one in 10 Indians are at risk of kidney disease, while awareness about its seriousness remains low, at only 7 per cent.
“Increased awareness leads to early changes in lifestyle and therapy, which can reduce the risk of developing CKD or slow the progression in those with existing CKD. Through this drive, we hope to continue to touch people’s lives by raising awareness,” said Ignatius.