Kochi (Kerala) [India], December 16: Transplant Games, held in Kochi, the commercial capital of Kerala, has made history as the largest gathering of organ transplanted persons and recipients with a participation of over 450 people from across the country. The games, organized by Heart Care Foundation in association with the Kerala State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organization (K-SOTTO), Liver Foundation of Kerala (LiFoK), Kochi Corporation, KMRL, Regional Sports Center, GCDA, and the Kerala State Youth Welfare Board with the aim of promoting organ donation, has also received India Book of Records entry for bringing together the highest number of organ donors and recipients on a single sports platform.
As part of the games, competitions were organised in 11 categories. Among the participants, 47 were kidney donors, 56 kidney recipients, 132 liver donors, 167 liver recipients and 38 heart recipients. People who had undergone pancreas and hand transplant surgeries also participated in the Transplant Games, which was held across three venues – Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, and Lulu Mall Kochi. The competitions were conducted as per various age categories- below 21 years, below 40 years, and above 40 years- and in specific segments both in donors and recipients.
Well-known entrepreneur and himself a kidney donor Kochouseph Chittilappilly inaugurated the 5 KM Race Walk ahead of the games that started from Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium. Popular actor Mammootty formally inaugurated the games by accepting the games torch carried by members of Muziris Cyclists’ Club. Film director Major Ravi and Kochouseph Chittilappilly were the chief guests at the inaugural function. Dr. Jose Chacko Periappuram, Chairman, Heart Care Foundation, Noble Gracious, Executive Director, K-SOTTO, Babu Kuruvilla, Treasurer, Liver Foundation of Kerala (LiFoK), and Dr. Jacob Abraham and Dr. Joe Joseph, Trustees, Heart Care Foundation, were also present at the inaugural function.
Kerala Industries Minister P. Rajeev, Local Self Government and Excise Minister M. B. Rajesh, and Transport Minister A. K. Saseendran also attended the games and presented prizes to the winners.
Inaugurating the valedictory function, Kerala Legislative Assembly Speaker A. N. Shamseer stated that the Transplant Games would provide a shot in the arm for transplant surgeons and help to resolve the aversion to organ donation in Kerala. He emphasised the need to speed up matters related to organ transplantation, including the approvals. The Speaker also advocated for bringing more transparency in organ donation. “It is necessary to support great initiatives like the games and participation is more important than success or failures in it,” said Shamseer adding that a system should be brought in place to check increasing fraud in organ transplantation. He also stated that organ transplantations should be made affordable to the common man with the support of non-governmental organizations.
T.J. Vinod MLA unveiled the booklet of Transplant Games by handing over a copy to Hibi Eden MP. Adv. M. Anilkumar, Mayor of Kochi Corporation, Loknath Behra, Managing Director of KMRL, Adv. Navas, Secretary of the Regional Sports Centre, was also present at the valedictory function. The event was also supported by Mohan Foundation, Kochi Water Metro, Muziris Cyclists’ Club, Kent Constructions, Chittilappilly Square and Nolta.
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