Lalitha Raghuram

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2014


This profile was prepared when Lalitha Raghuram was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2014.
The New Idea
Lalitha has pioneered the system for organ transplant in India both by building the enabling policy framework for organ donation, transplant procedures and accreditation of hospitals, and by equipping medical and non-medical professionals to ensure organs are transplanted in a timely and sensitive manner.

Lalitha’s role as a catalyst has brought together public and private actors, connecting cadaver donors to wait-listed patients, enabling hospitals, families, medical staff and the public at large to take responsibility for organ donation. She is building a culture of organ donation in India by engaging mavens- religious leaders and celebrities, in creative ways. To identify potential donors and counsel their families to encourage them to donate organs, she has also created a dedicated profession of ‘transplant coordinators’ in accredited transplant hospitals. Lalitha’s most valuable contribution lies in the way she has streamlined the process of organ transplant in accredited hospitals.

There are now over 320 trained transplant coordinators in 250 accredited hospitals. By systematizing the entire chain, Lalitha has managed to maintain an 80 per cent success rate in convincing families to donate, and has successfully coordinated 958 full body organ donations since 2002.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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