Body donation: Buddha, Biman and many more ready to follow suit

Several CPM leaders are ready to follow the path shown by Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu — by donating their body for medical research after death.

The list is long and illustrious and includes, among others, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, state CPM secretary Biman Bose and Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya.

Others in the list are State Health Minister Surjya Kanta Mishra along with his family, State Tourism Minister Manab Mukherjee, CITU general secretary Shyamal Chakraborty, senior CPM leader Samar Mukherjee, Additional Advocate General Nisith Adhikari, and State Advocate General Balai Roy.

After a state honour and 21-gun salute, Basu's body was handed over to the anatomy department of SSKM hospital yesterday. Basu had donated his body on April 4, 2003, and Pratyush Mukherjee, the then Health minister, and veteran Communist leader Prasanta Sur were witness to the pledge.

Ganadarpan, the NGO to whom Basu had pledged to donate his body, has been flooded with requests from people keen to know the process to donate their bodies.

"We have been flooded with calls and people are coming to our offices keen on donating their bodies," said Brojo Roy, general secretary of the organisation. Roy said that in the last two days more than 250 people have approached the organisation.

Ganadarpan has received 1,400 bodies since 1985. Among the notable donors were former CPM state secretary Anil Biswas and CPM leader Benoy Chowdhury.

According to the representatives of Ganadarpan, the process is simple: you have to take a pledge form where — with two witnesses — you have to declare that your body will be donated after death for medical research.

Other personalities who have pledged to donate their bodies include Firad Hakim, Trinamool MP from Alipore, thespian Kumar Ray and Bibhas Chatterjee, mime artist Jogesh Dutta, actor Rupa Ganguly and economist Professor Amlan Dutta.

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