She is allegedly deaf to chronic kidney patients’ SOS
New Delhi: PM Modi waxed eloquent in USA not long ago about his cabinet colleague Shushma Swaraj’s altruist aunty role on micro blogging site Twitter. But ask those waiting for kidney transplant for years.
They are miffed at her because the twitter do-gooder is allegedly lukewarm to their tales of woes, though she herself has gone through the trauma of kidney failure.
When she got kidney transplant in AIIMS, hopes floated for a large number of chronic kidney patients in India, who have been waiting long for kidney donors for transplant. They hoped kidney transplant might be a little easier for them too, even if not as easy as in Sushma ji’s case. They also hoped that she would serve as an ambassador for their cause and do utmost for augmenting cadaver kidney donations. She would also try to get organ donation law changed to make it recipient friendly. But she did not measure up to their expectations.
In a press conference for a successful kidney transplant in a 3 year old girl not long ago, the transplant doctors complained that Sushma Swaraj has cold shouldered the kidney sufferers. She did not even respond to their tweets. When Medicare News talked to some members of ‘Kidney Warriors’, a coalition of chronic kidney patients waiting for transplant, they expressed their disdain for the altruist aunty. The doctors said they had prompted their kidney patients to tweet to Sushma Swaraj to ask for running a campaign for them. But they felt disappointed because she did not even so much as respond to their tweets.
Kidney Warrior members said had Sushma Swaraj been an ordinary kidney patient, she might be a member herself here and looking for some Good Samaritan to come to her rescue. Because she is a big gun, law was so kind and lenient in her case, no question raised. She got the donor just for asking. But things are not so easy for us lesser mortals. The minister could at least have fought for making our lives easier too. Who could be better mascot for us than her? But she is quite unconcerned. Helping a person here and a person there through twitter is mere exhibitionism. Her real and full time devotion should be to helping her own community of kidney patients.
One member of ‘Kidney Warriors’ chronic kidney patients clan, said, ‘there is a saying that only the bearer knows where the shoe pinches but Sushma Swaraj seems quite foreign to our woes.’
Praising profusely his MEA for her twitter philanthropy, PM Modi, while addressing Indian Diasporas in Washington, had said, ‘It is now well known in India that when anyone is in trouble tweets to Sushma ji, she promptly replies and get things done.’
It is really intriguing for those kidney patients who are living touch and go between life and death for want of kidney donors and thanks to legal hassles, why ‘Sushma ji’ is keeping a discreet silence over their tales of woes. Why is she so indifferent to her kidney brethren?
Several patients with end-stage problems are battling for life as there are not enough donor organs available. Sushma Swaraj could have been a great force multiplier in taking organ donation campaign forward.
The need for organs in the country is huge. Every year nearly 5,00,000 people die because of non-availability of organs, 2,00,000 people die of liver disease, 50,000 people die from heart disease, 150,000 people await a kidney transplant but only 5,000 get one. Almost 1o,00,000 people suffer from corneal blindness and await transplant.