Lesson 55: Organ Donation – Rivyani’s Story (Level 2+)


On April 18, 2018, seven- year-old Rivyani Rahangdale was hit by a motorcycle near her hometown of Deori, in Maharashtra’s Gondia district. She was with her aunt and uncle. They had stopped by the roadside to drink water.

Initially, passersby did nothing to help. They took photos and videos for more than an hour.

Finally a Good Samaritan took an unconscious Rivyani and her injured aunt and uncle to hospital. The next day the little girl was admitted to New Era Hospital in Nagpur.

Dr. Nilesh Agarwal, the director of the hospital said, “We immediately operated on her other injuries, but she was brain dead. We told her father that there was no point trying to prolong her life. I was pleasantly surprised when he said he wanted to donate her organs. Usually, even the most educated people don’t agree to organ donation and here was a man from a far-off village in a tribal district who had the heart to make an offer in the most tragic moments of his life.”

Rivyani’s heart was transplanted into a three-year- old girl, the liver was transplanted into the body of a forty-year-old man and the kidneys were given to a fourteen-year- old boy in Nagpur.  The eyes were donated to Mahatme Eye Hospital in Nagpur.

Rivyani’s parents, Radheshyam and Arti Rahangdale made the hardest decision of their lives. Their daughter was brain-dead, but her other organs were not dead. So why not let them stay alive, they decided.

What gave Rivyani’s parents the strength to make this decision?  Radheshyam says: When you take a step forward, others follow.

Radheshyam has a message for the parents of the three-year-old who received his daughter’s heart. “Please convey to them that they should celebrate my daughter’s birthday on May 5 every year along with their child’s regular birthday.”

– Abridged from The Sunday Express, April 29, 2018.

A) Vocabulary
Please make sentences with the following words. Your sentences should show that you understand the meaning of the word.

Initially– Firstly, in the beginning
Passerby– someone who is passing by
Good Samaritan– a helpful person
Prolong– to make longer
Donate– to give something for a good cause
Organ– a part of the body that performs a particular job.
Tragic– very sad
Transplant– the process of taking an organ from one body and placing it in another body

B) Discussion Points

  1. What happened in the village of Deori on April 18, 2018?
  2. How did the passersby behave?
  3. When did the parents make their difficult decision?
  4. How would you describe the behaviour of the parents?
  5. How many people benefitted from the child’s organs?
  6. How did the father explain the decision of donating his daughter’s organs?
  7. Did you know? One organ donor can donate up to twenty five different organs and tissues for transplantation. This can save up to nine lives.
  8. On the Internet please research the status of organ donation in India.
  9. How can you make a huge difference in the lives of people?
  10. Has Rivyani’s story given you something important to think about?

Audio courtesy Tara Kriplani: