How four Brisbane friends started a record-breaking organ donation campaign
Discussing organ donation can be tough, so when a group of friends from Brisbane's Sikh community got together to encourage others to register as donors, they had no idea it would have such a positive impact.
It’s a Sunday morning at a Sikh temple in north Brisbane and hundreds of worshippers have gathered to give thanks.
Outside, four friends are setting up a modest but colourful stall to encourage people to give back by becoming registered organ donors.
Bus drivers Rajwinder Gill, Randip Johal, and Manpreet Munjal, along with financial advisor Gagandeep Tandon, have been here every weekend for the past few months.
The idea of an organ donation registration drive started as a way to celebrate the 550th birthday anniversary of the Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak in October, Mr Tandon tells SBS News.
"This is a very important occasion for us and we wanted to do something to support the whole community, so we sat down, we figured out what we needed to do, plan out things and all that,” he says...
...One of those happy to register at the temple is Veerpal Kaur, who says: "I think it's a very good idea and I think it will save someone's life so that's why I made up my mind to sign up for life donation,"
Another newly registered donor, Amandeep Singh, says as a Sikh, signing up for organ donation makes sense.
“I think in my community you don't need to encourage them, they have that core principle, the only thing you have to do is ask them.”
Mr Johal says the group is now thinking of ways to make the campaign go national.
He is offering his support to any religious group who would like to try a similar registration drive.
“If they need any help we are happy to help them, any information, whatever we know,” he says.
“We want to ask if they can start the same sort of campaign in other places, rather than just staying in Brisbane, so we're probably going to make it wider for the whole Australian community.”
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