Mumbai: There is heightened awareness about organ donation — organs like the eyes, heart, kidneys, liver — but the largest organ in the human body — the skin — is overlooked when it comes to donation. In order to spread awareness on the importance of skin donation, two acid attack victims, Sneha and Sia, have come forward to use Ganeshotsav as the means to create awareness.

The agony of burn and acid attack victims goes largely unnoticed. They suffer enormous pain, and the scarring is not just physical. For them, getting donor skin is like a second lease of life. “Sneha and Sia, acid attack victims, have helped the Panchganga Ganeshotsav mandal, in Lower Parel, build on the theme of acid attack and skin donation,” said Sia’s friend.

Sia Parkar, who survived an acid attack in 2007, said, “My face was burnt after the attack and I was terrified of facing myself in the mirror. I had been depressed for more than six months and only emerged out of it unscathed because of the support extended by my family and friends,” said Sia.

She further added people should pledge to donate their skin when they are alive or families must give their consent for donating the skin of the deceased within six hours after death. “Plastic surgery is an option for those who have suffered more than 60 per cent burns. Only a few come forward to donate skin. So, we are trying to raise awareness,” said Sia.

Art Director Sumit Patil who helped build the pandal around this theme, said the mindset of society towards acid attack victims has not changed, not many come forward to help them. “We must ensure we help these people spread their wings to achieve their dreams. With the acid attack theme, we have tried to convey the message that their face has been scarred, but not their dreams,” added Patil.

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