Every two years, the International Olympic Committee-recognised event brings together tissue and organ transplant recipients and donors from across the world. The Tricolour fluttered proudly in Newcastle, UK, as 14 men and women represented India at the little-known World Transplant Games (WTG). Their triumph — the team returned home with four gold and three silver medals — signified bravery and a battle against odds.
The manager of team India, Reena Raju (38), has had two heart transplants and played a crucial part in putting the contingent together. While some participants were lucky in terms of finding sponsors, most of the others had to fund themselves.
She adds that she hopes to see more support and encouragement for the athletes in light of the team’s performance this year. While sports is about breaking physical and mental barriers, the philosophy of those participate in the (WTG) World Transplant Games also includes spreading awareness about organ donation and transplantation. Bhopal girl Shrivastava says, “We need more organ donors in the country. It is a noble cause that can save many lives. Our WTG effort is a small step in that direction.”