A deluge of sperm donors post 'Vicky Donor'

Post Shoojit Sircar's humourous take on sperm donation in India, fertility and IVF centers say they have many donors

Shoojit Sircar's morality tale wrapped up as a fun bon bon, " Vicky Donor", might have floated 10 different ways to define the word sperm. But those in the business say they are busy celebrating the difference it has brought to the act of sperm donation and its context in Indian society.

The word's spread

IVF specialists Dr Namita Chandra, says "The movie has definitely broken the barriers and has dealt with an issue that was considered a taboo so far. Talking about Lucknow specifically, earlier, where we used to get only 1-2 calls a day from donors, we now receive more than 8-9 calls, after the film released. We end up refusing many interested people because we don't have adequate storage facilities.

And it is not just Lucknow, Dr Sweta Gupta, consultant with one of Delhi most prominent IVF clinics, says her outfit too is faced with a similar quandary. "There has been an increase in the number of queries we receive by 10-15 calls in a day, from barely two or three a day, earlier. Most donors, after the release of "Vicky Donor", are between the age group of 20-25 years."

Mumbai-based IVF specialist Dr Aniruddha Malpani adds, "Everybody is ready to discuss about sperm donation. Even bank employees and professionals from other service sectors enquire about it now, which was not the case earlier."

Money hai toh...

Interestingly, while the number of sperm donors has risen, IVF specialists say the reasons are not altogether altruistic. Money, according to them, is a big driving force. Lucknow-based IVF specialist Dr Suneeta Bhatia, says, "Our callers have one question in common - 'How much will I be paid?' People are driven to the sperm banks because of the money offered, that was shown in the movie, but frankly, no such huge amount of money is involved. Nor are there any such perks or free gifts like LCDs, etc. Payments are marginal and they cannot substitute for a regular job."

Director of an IVF centre, Dr Geeta Khanna, adds, "The money part in the film, where the donor is earning big bucks from donating sperm is the only flaw there. Itne paise doctor toh apni jeb se dega nahin..."

Dr Gupta in Delhi agrees, saying, "After the film there is an assumption that one can earn one's living with sperm donation. In fact, we offer only `500 per donation. That means a person will be paid `5000 for 10 donations. And a regular donor is allowed to donate that many times in six months."

However, Ayushmann 'Vicky' Khurrana, who plays the lead in the film, puts that exaggeration down to artistic liberty. He says, "If we didn't show some exaggerated stuff, the viewers would not have been entertained at all. Look at it like this - ek hero jab tak bahut unchi chhat se chhalang nahin lagata hai tab tak logon ko maza nahin aata hai. That is why masala is needed. We are not making a documentary here!"

Paisa, yeh paisa!

Donating sperm isn't exactly going to make you rich... Here's what one session could earn you in the following cities...

Lucknow: `250

Delhi: `500

Mumbai: `500

Kolkata: `200 approximately

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