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Donors flock to Indian priest’s kidney bank

Millionaire among those who answer the call to help the poor

Father Davis Chiramel Father Davis Chiramel
  • ucanews.com reporter, Kochi
  • India
  • January 18, 2011
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A Catholic priest is inspiring people to join a growing movement that is encouraging kidney donations through the world’s first kidney donation chain.

“We have started a kidney bank and are trying to convince more people to join it,” said Father Davis Chiramel, founder and president of the Kidney Federation of India.

The chain is also promoting communal harmony, the priest said.

Five people, including a multi-millionaire Catholic businessman, offered their kidneys to poor patients at a press conference in Kochi yesterday.

Kochouseph Chittilappilly, the businessman, told ucanews.com today that Father Chiramel had inspired him by donating one of his own kidneys.

In 2009, the Trichur archdiocesan priest donated a kidney to a Hindu renal patient. He later launched the kidney federation to encourage donations.

Chittilappilly said he had once found it difficult to find a kidney donor for a relative.

“Then I found a great role model in Father Chiramel and decided to donate my kidney after convincing my family,” he added.

He says he has agreed to give a kidney to Joy, a poor tailor.

“I can survive with one kidney,” Chittilappilly said.

“We have to return what we have received from God. It’s the only way to make the world better,” he added.

Joy’s wife Jolly, told ucanews.com she has promised to donate her kidney to a Muslim youth.

Beena Vijayan, a local government official, called the priest’s mission a divine act.

“He has become a saint through a noble sacrifice. We should support him,” she told ucanews.com.

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