Indians offer kidneys to ailing minister

By BBC/ Beth Nyaga

Many Indians are offering to donate their kidneys to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj after she tweeted she was undergoing tests for a transplant.

The 64-year-old minister has a history of chronic diabetes and was admitted to a Delhi hospital earlier this month.

Ms Swaraj is one the most high-profile ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet.

On Tuesday she tweeted that she was undergoing dialysis after kidney failure.

Unlike many other types of organ donation, it is possible to donate a kidney while still alive because humans only need one kidney to survive.

Social media users responded quickly by offering to donate their own kidneys to Ms Swaraj, with some providing their personal phone numbers.

@SushmaSwaraj Mam If you wish. I am ready to donate my kidney for you. Nation needs your servicesImage copyright@NIKHILDADHICH
@SushmaSwaraj @AgarwalGyan Yes I am ready to give kidney if doctors allows for the daughter of my nation. The Sushmaji radhey radhey jieeImage copyright@SSHYAM

The BBC spoke to Khemraj Sharma, a 24-year-old engineer from Jammu, who had left his phone number along with an offer to donate his kidney.

“I am a very healthy person and so I can offer my kidney to Sushmaji,” he said.

“She has done so much for Indians stranded in foreign countries and the first foreign minister who is doing so much for Indians abroad. She even opens her ministry on Sundays to work for Indians. This is why I have done it.”

Mr Sharma added that he was a supporter of the ruling BJP of which Ms Swaraj is a member, but had no official affiliation with the party.

Ms Swaraj has not responded individually to the offers, but expressed her gratitude to “friends” who had offered to donate their kidneys.

She tweeted: “I have no words to express my deep sense of gratitude towards them.”

The foreign minister is known for reacting quickly to calls for help from Indians living or travelling abroad. Earlier this month, she helped a Pakistani bride obtain a visa to attend her wedding in India.


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