Setting a record: Lee (fourth from left) presenting the certificate from The Malaysian Book of Records to Ramesh in Kuala Lumpur.
PETALING JAYA: A volunteer who manned a counter at a shopping mall every day for 12 hours, five days in a row, managed to get over 870 pledges for organ donations.
Mechanical technician Ramesh Munusamy, who works in Singapore, said he did not mind sacrificing his leave and off days for the cause.
“I used to drive by Brickfields and have seen many blind people walking there. I felt that there is a need to help them,” said the 38-year-old, who has also pledged to be an organ donor.
For his efforts during the recent Global Indian Festival, Ramesh was awarded a certificate from the Malaysian Book of Records for collecting the largest number of pledges in an organ transplant campaign by managing to register 595 pledges over two days on June 7 and 8.
“Helping those who are in need of an organ transplant is satisfaction enough for me, but breaking the record is an added bonus,” he told reporters at the National Transplant Resource Centre (NTRC) here yesterday.
“The people already have awareness about organ donation – we just took the opportunity to ask them and many pledged.
“I hope this achievement will challenge others to break this record and, in the process, help many more people in need.”
Organ Donation Awareness Promotion Action Committee chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said at the press conference that the committee would look for innovative ways to create awareness about organ donation and increase the number of pledges.
He also announced that there would be a nationwide street campaign in October with the theme Satu Ikrar Sejuta Harapan (One Pledge, A Million Hopes).
“This campaign will allow volunteers and NGOs to engage the people and increase the number of pledges,” he said.
“The number of Malaysians who have pledged is still too low.”
Data collected since 1997 until May 2014 shows that only 255,983 individuals have pledged their organs, which is only 0.8% of the population, estimated to be at 30 million.
However, 18,472 persons are in need of an organ transplant, with the majority of them needing new kidneys as most are currently on dialysis.