Comedy Theater attracts ‘Game Changers - The Youth’


‘Jaan ke Laley’ a joint venture of Naya Jeevan and Novartis Pakistan

Comedy Theater attracts
‘Game Changers - The Youth’

KARACHI: In Pakistan, more than fifty thousand people die each year due to organ failure. Majority of them can be saved if organs are available for transplantation. With the aim to create awareness about organ donation, a comedy play titled ‘Jaan Ke Laley’ was staged by a group of artists under the banner of Green Veins. It was a joint venture by Naya Jeevan and Novartis Pharma Pakistan. The play was organized at FTC Auditorium-Karachi and was attended by a large audience including members of the Novartis family,besides celebrities like Film, Stage and T.V Drama Artist Zeba Shahnaz,and Famous Folk & Pop Singer Arshad Mehmood. Dr. Ashar Hasan - CEO Naya Jeevan and Mr. Shahab Rizvi - CEO of Novartis Pharma Pakistan was also present at the occasion. The same play was first staged at AQ Auditorium earlier, in Islamabad.

The basic theme of this drama was based on unethical practices associated with organ trafficking and illegal transplantation. People from the Middle East and other countries come to Pakistan to buy kidneys and other human organs from the impoverished society. On one hand, increasing poverty and high rates of unemployment give rise to organ trade; while on the other hand, burdened by escalating operating costs, some hospitals have no other choice but to indulge in unethical practices.

Dr. Shehzad Saleem, Dr. Ashar Hasan, Dr. Younus, Zeba Shahnaz, Mr. Arshad Mahmood and Dr. Rafia addressing the participants of a comedy play titled ‘Jaan Ke Laley’ a joint venture by Naya Jeevan and Novartis Pharma Pakistan held at Karachi on April 11, 2015. On right Mr. Shahab Rizvi CEO of Novartis Pharma Pakistan presenting bouquets as a token of appreciation to Zeba Shahnaz, Mr. Arshad Mehmood, and Dr. Ashar Hasan.

The play revolves around a Hospital Setup, where a Doctor, who happens to be the owner of the hospital, wants to run his hospital honestly. However, some unavoidable local factors and other multiple issues place the hospital’s survival at risk.As a result, the Doctor was encouraged by his own para-medicalstaff to indulge in the very lucrative organ-transplant business. A bitter truth of the society was also exposed. Our society has debilitated to such an extent, that now, even blood relations and close family members are reluctant to help one another. It was shown that even a son had refused to donate a kidney to his father, knowing that he was his father’s only hope.The father goes to various hospitals and relatives for kidney donation, but his entire efforts end in vain. He fails to receive any kind of help at all. Being extremely dejected with the attitude of people, he one day announces to donate every organ of his body, so that a father does not have to face the shame and helplessness of begging for organ donation.

There were numerous messages throughout the play encouraging people to become a ‘messiah’ by donating their organs after death and passing on the gift-of-life to the hopeless ones. By doing so, 1 person can save the lives of 17 people in need of organs. Organs that can be donated are kidneys, heart, liver, lungs, pancreas and intestine. Some tissues that may also be donated include corneas, skin, bone, and bone marrow among others.

The young artists presented harsh facts of life in a very gentle and humorous way, making the audience ponder on vital issues, yet smiled and laughed throughout the play with excitement and enjoyment. With the rising trend of attending stage plays in the country, it is quite admirable to see the Pakistani youth, playing their part in increasing public awareness, in such a unique and creative style.This is the first time in the history of Stage Theatre, where Comedy & Satire has been selected as a medium for Health Awareness. These kinds of events would encourage people to donate their organs, thereby improving someone else’s chance of leading a normal life.

A few scenes from a comedy play titled ‘Jaan Ke Laley’ held at FTC auditorium Karachi recently.

Ignorance about organ donation & transplantation is a major problem in Pakistan.Currently, lack of awareness is one of the main factors behind Scarcity of Organs, which ultimately leads to illegal organ trade. It is, therefore, essential to give awareness to the public about this issue. Art & Media may play an effective role in benefitting the ailing humanity. In this regard, Theatre can play a major part in delivering awareness to the general Public.It is the only medium in which the actors communicate with the audience/public in the same routine / informal language and style comprehended by them. The audience usually enjoys LIVE performances, and continues to talk, chat with their friends and family afterwards, thus spreading the message via the most powerful medium called “Word-of-mouth”.

Novartis in collaboration with PMA, had organized a similar Theatrical Stage Play in the past, by the name of ‘Subha-e-Nau’ at Arts Council Karachi. Contrary to ‘Jaan Ke Laley’, this was Serious Theatre. This time, the major objective of selecting Comedy Theatre was to attract the Youth of Pakistan, who have the real power to bring ‘Change’. They are the ones who can truly create a culture of Philanthropic Organ Donation in the country.

According to WH0, about 10,000 illegally purchased organ transplants take place each year globally. The Pakistani government passed a transplantation law in 2010 to control illegal human organ transplantation. Human Organ Transplantation Authority (HOTA) plays an important role in the evaluation and approval of Organ Transplantation in Pakistan, to prevent illegal organ trade/un-ethical transplantation in the country.Relatives should be willing to donate their organs to their loved ones, thus giving them the gift of life. Only then, we can expect a non-related person or friend to donate his organs, without any monetary incentive and benefit. This in turn will prohibit Illegal organ trade, which is a menace for the society.


Grouped photograph of Members of Novartis Transplant, Immunology & Dermatology Division photograph
with the artisits of a comedy play titled ‘Jaan Ke Laley’ held at FTC auditorium Karachi recently.

CEO of Naya Jeevan Foundation Dr. Ashar Hasan speaking at the occasion said that:“lack of proper institutions and systems aremaj or issues in Pakistan. Naya Jeevan seeks to alleviate poverty in the country by providing low-income families with affordable access to quality healthcare. Our members include low-income workers in the corporate, academic, and industrial sector. We have introduced health insurance schemes where our people like Gardeners, Drivers and maids/servants can avail the best health care in the best health facilities throughout the country by having our insurance policy with a very nominal insurance premium of rupees two hundred per month only. All we need is to promote awareness about this, and I believe that such programs are an excellent platform”.Dr. Shehzad Saleem - Head of Novartis Transplant Division (Immunology & Dermatology), addressing the participants said that:“The success of this initiative, now hinges on the fact that people start talking on the subject in social media and on various blogs. Celebrities will also have to come forward and play their role. This will encourage people to donate their organs, thereby improving someone else’s chances of leading a normal life”. He also pledged to continue to work in collaboration with Naya Jeevan Foundation for the betterment of society.

The chief guest of the event, legendary film, stage and T.V artist Ms. Zeba Shahnaz said that: “Attending such programs, which are based on a noble cause, has always been an attraction for me. I am so much inspired by this program that today I announce to donate all of my organs. Even our religion teaches us to help others, and I am happy that by donating my organs I will be saving numerous people’s lives”. Famous singer Arshad Mahmood, who recently had his medical checkup done from USA, and is medically fit, has also pledged to donate his organs after death at this event.

Mr. Shahab Rizvi - CEO of Novartis Pharma Pakistan presented bouquets as a token of appreciation to Zeba Shahnaz, Mr. Arshad Mehmood, and Dr. Ashar Hasan. Dr. Rafia, dentist by profession, and anchor of a TV Morning show was the host of the event.

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