“At 50, you realize that life is big, much bigger than you ever knew. You see that life has this ability to be very healing, that the full implications of events aren’t always evident. What you might think is awful can turn out to be a blessing”. — C. Northrup
Mangaluru: This isn’t an ordinary story. But then again, Violet Pereira-the Editor-in-Chief and Proprietor of Mangalorean.com, isn’t an ordinary person either. I would describe my boss as a courageous, awe-inspiring, exemplary, passionate and empathetic person as she steps into her 50 years life on this Earth. And here’s why: For most of us, an 50th birthday is a day of celebration – a day spent rejoicing with family, at a party with friends, or even traveling abroad or doing some fun things. For Violet Pereira, on her 50th birthday she has pledged to donate all her organs, and also instead of throwing a lavish birthday party she has decided to use those expenses for a good cause by organizing a programme pertaining to ‘Organ Donation’ campaign. Not only that she has insisted that her family members, friends and well-wishers instead of showering her with expensive gifts, but come forward and pledge to offer her the “Gifts of Life” by being “Organ Donors!”. All I can say is that, ” If there is one person who makes turning fifty appear chic, classy and cool – it’s Violet Pereira! . Happy 50th birthday.
As they say that “Men become naughty at the age of Forty”, but they also say that “Women become ‘Nifty’ and ‘Thrifty’ at the age of Fifty”-but I am not sure in the case of Violet Ma’am as she turns Fifty. Anyways let’s not further get into that in details? To mark the 50th birthday of Violet Ma’am, nearly fifty people have already pledged for “Organ Donation” (the perfect “Gifts of Life”, rather than expensive perfumes, make-up sets, jewellery etc), and many more will pledge during the function arranged this weekend, which will also have a awareness talk on Organ Donation by Dr GG Laxman Prabhu- Consultant in Urology,KMC Hospital- Mangaluru. During the Birthday Celebrations, Mangalorean.com will have a “New Look” with a “New Logo” which will be unveiled by AB Ibrahim- DK Deputy Commissioner, while the re-designed web portal will be launched by MLA JR Lobo. State Health minister UT Khader will inaugurate the function, while MP Nalin Kumar Kateel will launch the ‘Organ Donation Drive’. This programme is jointly hosted by Mangalorean.com with Kasturba Medical College Hospital- Mangaluru. Wow- what a “Unique Way” to celebrate a “Unique Birthday”?- all happening this weekend in a big bang!
Pledging to Donate Organs- It is a brave move for a Indian woman stepping into her 50th birthday, which has one of the poorest organ donation rates in the world. According to sources, compared with an average of 26 organ donors per million population in the developed world, India has just 0.16 donors per million. Ignorance, a lack of awareness, and socio-cultural taboos and superstitions keep organ donations from taking off – and as a result, thousands perish every year awaiting suitable donors, here in India. For those who know Violet, her decision wasn’t surprising. All her life, she has been passionate about social work, helping stranded or sick people on the streets and serving the community. “And what better way to give the gift of life to another when I’m no longer around?” she asks.
Although Violet had made up her my mind about donating her vital organs, she was aching to do more. She was toying with the idea of Organ Donation for a long while, but was hesitant to broach this topic with her husband, her children and family members. She couldn’t believe her ears when she realized that her entire family was instantly supportive of this decision. Asked why she made this choice, Violet Ma’am responded philosophically: “The mythical bird – Phoenix – represents the circle of life. It is believed that at the end of its life, the phoenix burns and is reduced to ashes, from which a new phoenix emerges. I believe that human life is something similar – we continue to serve the society even after one’s death.” I think Violet Ma’am story/example is one of strength and courage. Her selflessness inspires us to be better, do better and live better. She has truly embraced the spirit of ‘Go Further’ in her personal life.
While Violet is celebrating her prestigious 50th birthday dedicated for a “good Cause”, let us look briefly look at her personal data- Violet J Pereira was born on 12 March 1966, and when she was in 10th standard she lost both her eye sight and was bed ridden for 2 years. After 2 years of treatment she recovered sight in one eye and continued her education. She got married to Joseph Pereira in 1990, and is the proud mother of two sons, Ronak- who completed his aeronautical engineering in Bengaluru and now pursuing higher studies in USA, and Astel- who is doing his BSW in Roshni Nilaya. At the age of 37, she decided to join the media. Violet took over mangalorean.com’s batten along with her husband Joseph, in January 2010. Since then she never looked back. She then set up her media offices in Mangalore and Udupi.
Apart from a media person handling news coverage, photography, marketing, Violet is also a good social worker and has saved many lives as well as helped the poor and the downtrodden, one could call her as a “Good Samaritan” when someone is desperately distressed and in need she is always there. Violet is also involved in lending financial support through Fatima Education trust helping the HIV+ students to pursue their education. For her social service, she has received quite a few awards-to name a few : Helen Keller Award Conferred by Lions Club Mangalore on May 8, 2013, Best Journalist award in March 2012, from Talent Research Foundation, Rachana felicitated her on Women’s day in 2015, and was the recipient of 2014 Dakshina Kannada Rajyotsava Photography Award, Karnataka Mahila Ratna Award in 2015 and Karnataka Matha award in 2015.
During her spare time, Violet likes to write poems in Konkani, Tulu and Kannada. She had released “Maigaavn” (Motherland – dedicated to my mother) Book in 2010. Her hobbies include Photography, Writing poems, visiting spot where there is incident anytime. There are many unsung and un-honoured individuals in the journey called life. Time and again they continue to do great work without expecting anything in return. It behoves on us to elevate such human beings to such recognition. Encouragement, goodwill or help is sometimes the only thing they need, like a pat on the back. For other middle-aged women, Violet’s life and her achievements will surely be an inspiration and motivation so that they too can step in the footsteps of Violet to be a responsible and community oriented person.
On behalf of Team Mangalorean and ardent readers of Mangalorean.com, I have the following words for Violet while she steps into her 50th Birthday -“Yes, Fifty is a beautiful milestone in life. Life after turning fifty can truly be a dream come true, whether it is about ticking off things from the bucket list or spending time with family and the grand-kids. Don’t ever bother spending money on anti aging creams or face-lifting lotions. At 50, there is no turning back even with a secret potion. Now the rest of your life will depend on whether you have fun by being nifty, or you become boring by being thrifty. The choice is yours. At fifty you might not be able to make a fresh new start, but that doesn’t stop you from feeling young at heart. Look back at life and think about the good old days. Time will fly, things will change, but those memories will always stay. The best way to enjoy life is to forget your age and just remember the memories. Happy birthday. Never fear age, just enjoy life’s new stage. Ponder and think about all the things that you didn’t do. This is the age when life gives a second chance to you. It’s your choice, whether to give up or really have fun by letting loose. Life can be a rainbow or a dark cloud, depending on what you choose.
“Don’t let age dampen your youthful spirit. Life is a blessing, every day and every minute. Don’t be afraid of the wrinkles on your face. Every line is symbolic of one of your life’s phase. Don’t you dare start calling yourself old. There is a lot in your life, yet to unfold. Don’t even think of calling yourself weak. Of strength and youthfulness, let your personality reek. Don’t just assume that you are past your prime. Life will still offer many more precious moments, which will create memories sublime. Being beautiful at eighteen years of age is not a big deal. But being as stunning as you are at fifty, is definitely nothing short of a miracle. Happy 50th birthday beautiful. Turning fifty is when you will realize, that life is not a race, it is a wonderful prize. You will start slowing down and begin to cherish, even the quirky moments that once seemed garish. Such is life after fifty – beautiful, captivating and utterly heavenly”.
Want to know about ‘ORGAN DONATION’ :
Organ donation is where a person donates their organs for transplant. There are two types of organ donation: living and deceased. Donated organs are given to someone who has damaged organs that need to be replaced. An organ transplant may save a person’s life or significantly improve their health and quality of life. But there are always significantly more people waiting for an organ transplant than there are suitable donors. You need to be 18 years older for joining the register and recording your wish to be a donor. If you die in circumstances where you could potentially donate, specialist healthcare professionals decide which organs and tissues are suitable based on a number of factors, including your medical and travel history.
Tissue from people in their 70s and 80s is often transplanted successfully, although organs are only selected from those under 80 years of age. Most people waiting for a donated organ need to have a kidney, heart, lung or liver transplant. One donor can help several people as they can donate a number of organs, including: kidneys, liver, heart, lungs,small bowel,pancreas. Tissues that can be donated include: the cornea (the transparent layer at the front of the eye), bone, skin , heart valves, tendons,cartilage. All donors can choose which organs and tissues they wish to donate. Read more about what organs can be donated.
Adding your name to the register and telling your family and friends that you want to be a donor will make it easier for them to agree to donation in the event of your death. Remember to discuss your decision with your family so they’re aware. For more details and register for Organ Donation contact :
KMC HOSPITAL, Ambedkar (Jyothi) Circle, Mangalore – 575001
Ph: 0824 2444590
Fax: 0824 2421140
KMC is associated with The Zonal Coordination Committee of Karnataka (ZCCK) for Transplantation has been constituted by the Government of Karnataka.
By Alfie D’Souza, Team Mangalorean