Dozens of couples signed up to give “the greatest gift” at the Utsav Malayalee Samaj’s 10th anniversary celebrations last week.

Utsav has members from Caroline Springs, Melton and Deer Park and aims to promote the cultural and social values of Kerala and relay them to the next generation of Australian-born children of Keralite descent.

Group president Siniya Benny Joseph said she was proud that 70 members signed up for organ donation as part of the federal government DonateLife: The greatest gift scheme.

“When we were thinking about our 10th anniversary celebration we wanted to do something for the benefit of our community,” Ms Benny Joseph said.

“I used to be a transplant nurse in Auckland and I had close interactions with people awaiting transplants.

“I know the pain and agony and hopelessness that they feel … that’s why I wanted
to encourage everyone to come and do something good for our community here in Melbourne.”

She said the event was even more successful in promoting and preserving the Kerala culture through art forms including Indian classical dance and drumming.

“We believe that it’s very important to pass our cultural values on to our next generation,” Ms Benny Joseph said.