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Amalendu Guha one of the first to join campaign to pledge bodies for medical research

650 people have pledged bodies over last 12 years, claims NGO.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati |
Updated: May 8, 2015 3:44:30 am

A campaign that encourages people to pledge their bodies to medical colleges is gathering pace in Assam, much to the relief of the college authorities, who admit that shortage of cadavers is a major problem.

Also Read: Historian Amalendu Guha dies, body donated to medical college

On Thursday, the body of noted historian, social scientist and author Dr Amalendu Guha was formally handed over to the Gauhati Medical College (GMC); the college authorities believe that the move will give a major boost to the campaign. Dr Guha, incidentally, was one of the first people to have pledged his body when Ellora Vigyan Mancha, a Guwahati-based NGO, had launched its campaign in 2003.

“Since then, over 650 people have signed declarations pledging their bodies. This is not a small figure, given the fact that society continues to be bound by traditions and families always want to perform the last rites of the deceased,” said Isfaqur Rahman, a joint convener of the Mancha. Incidentally, the campaign was launched after the body of Rahman’s wife Ellora Roy Choudhury was donated to a medical college. The GMC, with 156 students, requires at least a dozen bodies a year.

“Earlier, poor people from distant places who were unable to arrange a vehicle or due to bad road connectivity would leave bodies of their deceased family members behind with us… But things have changed now, leaving very few unclaimed bodies,” said Dr Joydev Sarma, professor of the college’s anatomy department.

“Our campaign has motivated a sizeable number of people to come forward and pledge their bodies,” Rahman said.

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