WUNDERMAN THOMPSON, Bangalore / RED CROSS / 2019
India is woefully short of organs available for transplants. Every year about 500,000 deaths happen due to a lack of availability of organs.
There are 1387 functioning prisons in India holding a total of 518,536 prisoners. As they wait out the days cast out by society, a number of these prisoners are reduced to just the number on their uniforms. They are dehumanised and employment opportunities and chances to reintegrate into society are bleak.
The few Rehabilitation programmes that are run, are aimed at getting the prisoners employment. There’s little that’s done to humanise them or help them earn self-respect.
The Indian Red Cross Society’s ‘Second Life Project’ is an organ donor’s camp in its execution, but a reformation programme in intent. By giving prisoners the chance to be organ donors, a simple yet noble act, the Red Cross offered them a chance to undo Social Stigma. And thus get redemption by giving someone in need of an organ a second life.
First, communication through posters that were placed around the prisons. Followed by organ donation sign ups, and certificates as proof of the selfless act.
Currently, over 500,000 inmates are waiting out their sentences in 1387 Indian prisons, looking for a chance to rebuild their lives. Some are hardened criminals, others are looking to make amends, to reintegrate but social stigma is hard to get rid of.
Rehabilitation programmes train prisoners for occupations and offer employability. What they don’t offer is redemption. Our objective was to give prisoners a second chance at integrating with society. By signing up to be Organ Donors.
This wasn’t just a demand-supply solve, it was the redemption that Men looking for a second chance needed.
We conducted organ donation camps in Indian prisons, where prisoners could sign up to become organ donors to help someone in need.Camps were also conducted on the days prisoners were getting released, so that they could return to society with their heads held high.
Some of the prisons covered included Yerwada Jail in Pune, Kerala Central Jail, Mumbai Central Prison, Presidency Jail in Kolkata and Central Prison Bangalore. The Indian Red Cross Society has certified them as organ donors.
Moreover, we created a website that matched prisoners who were released with suitable job opportunities and encouraged them to become organ donors.
Over 200 prisons across India have expressed interest in participating in The Second Life Project, as the initiative boosts the prisoners' self esteem and more importantly helps change society’s perception towards them. Thousands of prisoners have signed up to become organ donors. Marking the beginning of a second life for both the prisoner and for many among the 500,000 people who die every year due to the lack of organ donors in India. They can now hold their heads high and eventually come back to their families having done a noble deed.
We didn’t just help bridge some of the gap to make Organs available for transplants in India, we gave men looking for a Second Chance, a second chance.
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