In Vicky Donor, a fertility expert had to convince Vicky, the protagonist, to donate sperm and help countless childless couples.
The Bollywood film released last April has inspired youths in the state capital to such an extent that fertility experts do not have to scout hard for donors these days.
Youths are queuing up to donate sperm at the fertility clinics in the city. According to experts, the clinics earlier had to approach healthy, young men and persuade them to donate their sperm. The recent trend has raised hope for several childless couples, for whom artificial insemination is the only way out.
Dr Himanshu Roy, who runs Srijan Centre for Assisted Human Reproduction, one of the most popular fertility clinics in the city, has even put a poster of the film in the waiting room of his centre. “The way this film has portrayed a sensitive and complicated subject has made our jobs easier. Youth are now aware and willing to donate semen voluntarily. We are getting around 5-6 calls from such interested youths every day. Childless couples visiting our clinic are very stressed because it is a tough decision for them. But those who have watched the movie are relaxed and understand that they are not the only ones,” Roy said.
Another senior doctor, who runs a sperm bank, said: “The film has popularised sperm donation to the extent that young boys are calling up to know how they can donate sperm and make a quick buck.”
According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines, a donor can only be approached through a sperm bank. Norms mandate the fertility clinic to obtain sperms from appropriate banks and neither the clinic nor the couple should know the donor’s identity. Experts said that there is a round of sperm analysis tests to check the sperm mobility, count, volume and other parameters.
The issue of making easy money through sperm donation without any investment as projected in Vicky Donor is, however, controversial. “There are lots of ethical issues involved. if there is no incentive, nobody will want to come forward. We therefore offer anything between Rs 300 and Rs 400 for every donation, depending on the educational and professional background of the donor,” a city-based in-vitro fertilisation expert, preferring anonymity.