Ahead of Organ Donation Day, which falls on 27 November, Fortis Healthcare has launched a campaign to promote the cause. A digital film conceptualised by Leo Burnett makes a moving appeal to this end.
'Mother of 2 dies waiting for liver donor,' screams a headline, against the image of a crowded hospital corridor. Doctors and nurses in surgery gear surround a patient. The super explains that there is 'No hope for 18-year old kidney patient'. Next on screen is a 'Kid put on 2-year waiting list for a new heart.'
Five lakh patients need organs every year, but there is an acute shortage of donors, viewers are told through text. Hence, the hunt for heroes. 'Fortis-NDTV present, in partnership with veterans of the Indian Army', the 'More To Give' appeal urging viewers to 'Be an organ donor.'
Faces of a general, a sepoy and a major appear, but they are 'Not just any veterans,' we are told. The visuals and super reveal that they are heroes who lost their limbs fighting for the nation. 'They have given everything they had for us. Yet they have come forward and pledged their organs,' we are informed. The message from each hero is juxtaposed against his image: "I lost my arm fighting for the enemy. But I still have more to give." The appeal is that these brave men still believe they have more to give. It ends with the question, "What's stopping us?"
The call to action is an invite to participate in the NDTV Fortis 'More to Give' Walkathon on 27 November. The Walkathon microsite provides further details, and allows visitors to register for the marathon and/or pledge organ donation.
Speaking with Campaign India, Gaurav Dudeja, head – marketing, Fortis Healthcare, said, “The film talks about our commitment to the cause of organ donation. It’s meant to inspire people to take the pledge to donate organs. We have showcased how each one of us has the power within us to give more to benefit and uplift others. We are tying up with some of the disabled war victims who lost limbs while saving the nation. They are upholding the power to give more. It’s meant to make people wonder that ‘If they can, why can’t we?’.”
The drive kicked off on 26 July this year. What followed were an event with Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, launch of an anthem and on-ground events in several cities. Since the campaign launch, 10,000 pledges have been received by Fortis for organ donation, more than in the last three years, informed Dudeja.
He stated that the intent was also to dispel religious myths about organ donation. Leaders of several faiths were fathered under a roof to say no religion discourages this (organ donation). As part of the efforts, media partner NDTV aired a show during Independence Day which featured 1,100 jawans pledging to donate their organs. Fortis has also designed ‘Walls of Tribute’ (to donors) in marble across seven of its hospitals, in a bid to inspire lakhs of people who visit the hospital.
While Fortis doesn’t have a targeted number, the idea is to raise the number of pledges to donate organs. At present, this stands at 0.34 (donors) to 10 lakh (population), and the target is to move this to 1 per 10 lakh by 2020.
He explained, “You put hard targets when you have a defined period of activity. This is something we will do on an ongoing basis. In a country of our size, there are 5 lakh people who die every year because of this. The ratio in India is way too low. Compare this to Spain, (which is the highest in terms of pledges for organ donation) at 35 per 10 lakh. We want to continue to increase the number of people who take the pledge."
RajDeepak Das, CCO, Leo Burnett, South Asia, said, "The challenge posed to us was to bring organ donation to the forefront of people's conscience; to inspire all Indians to pledge and make them realise that a simple act could actually make a huge difference in someone else’s life. We all think that organ donation is a special act that is someone else's responsibility. At the heart of this lies the awakening that each one us has the potential to be an organ donor irrespective of our means, age, class, colour or religion. Each one of us has more to give than we realize; we all have the power to light up eight lives and make a difference."
He added, "We wanted to make people realize that even after they have passed away, they still have ways to contribute to society, they still can save lives, they still have #MoreToGive – all through the simple act of registering as organ donor. The crux behind #MoreToGive this year is to awaken the nation’s conscience by sharing stories of disabled war veterans who have actually pledged to donate organs. By enlisting war veterans into the cause of organ donation and making them the ambassadors for this cause, we aim to hit a nerve with the Indians who are complacent about registering for organ donation and make them take action towards it. If people who have already lost a part of their body in the service of the country, can step up and say “I have #MoreToGive”, then what stops the rest of India from doing so?"