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Beyond Religions:Manjot is donating kidney to her Muslim friend Samreen

Srinagar, Nov 29: The iconic Sholay song about everlasting friendship, ye dosti hum nahi todengey, todengey dum agar tera saath na chodengey has found real life meaning in the selfless story of Manjot Singh Kohli, who is donating her kidney to her best friend suffering from a renal failure.

In a noble gesture, Manjot, 23-year-old Sikh girl from Udampur, has decided to donate one of her kidneys to save the life of her closest friend, a Muslim girl, Samreen hailing from Srinagar.

Samreen is currently subjected to dialysis twice a month at SKIMS, Soura.“Unshakeable faith in each other made me take this step,” Manjot gives a confident reply on asking her about the momentous decision.

Manjot learnt about her friend’s ailment after reading a post on Facebook, six months ago after which she left everything behind and rushed to Srinagar.“Samreen never told me directly about her ailment as it would have affected me deeply. We have a mutual friend who works as a journalist. She put a post on Facebook some six months back in which she had mentioned that anybody with B +ve blood wishing to donate his kidney can come forward,” says Manjot, who is also a social and human-rights activist.

On reading the post, Manjot sensed trouble and immediately rang her journalist friend who broke the news to her.“When I read the post, I got an inkling that it is about Samreen. I inquired if she is the same person and my worst fears came true,” says Manjot in a voice laced with emotions.

It took a fraction of a second for Manjot to make this sacrifice for her foul-weather friend, who stood with her through her thick and thin.

“I lost my mother in a car accident in November 2014 who came to visit me when I had been perusing my graduation in Shimla,” says the young activist.

This incident turned her life upside down but she bounced back. In the toughest phase of her life, her only supporter, friend and confidant, Samreen stood by her side.“For me, it was not a hard decision. She was there when there was nobody. I didn’t even take a nano-second to make this decision,” she says.

However, the decision came with a set of challenges posed by her family and the hospital authorities.“The problem came when I had to convince my family as they are emotionally attached to me. They won’t understand the bond we share and my intentions behind this decision,” rues Manjot, who graduated in English honours through IGNOU.

For the last six months, Manjot has been taking care of her friend whose family is going through financial problems. Samreen’s only earning member of the family is her mother, who works as a teacher.

“Her father worked as a tailor in Rajouri. Now he is no longer working there. It’s very difficult of her mother to run the household and manage the medical expenses on a meager income. This was the reason we couldn’t afford a donor from outside the state,” reveals Manjot.

While Samreen is battling for life, Manjot is battling the medical and legal battles as her family is completely against this decision.
“The hospital staff literally tortured me. I am an obese person and suffer from the problem of hypertension. They put me on treatment for hyper-tension and now I am completely fine,” says Manjot.

Manjot was then asked to get the consent of her family—a pre-requisite—before the transplantation.“Medical procedures are almost complete. There are around 100 tests involved and I have cleared all of them. Now, what remains is the legal procedure. They will not perform the surgery until I get a proper permission from my family,”

The 23-year-old is planning to file a petition in Jammu and Kashmir High Court as her last resort.“If my family agrees well and good otherwise it will take around a month to get a legal permission.” says Manjot who presently resides in Jammu.

Was religion a concern for her?“For me, she is a human being first and if god forbid, I am unable to help her then I would live a life-time full of anxiety,” she replies.