Donation of the eyes gives sight to two corneal blind persons, enabling them to come out of their dark and dreary life into a life full of colors, a life where they can see and enjoy this beautiful world as there is no substitute for human tissue. A famous poet has rightly said, “Eyes are a precious gift to a person. But the same eyes bring misery when misused or when they are lost. A wise man utilizes that gift while alive and on death too”.
The transplantation process depends upon the priceless gift of cornea donation from one human to the next. The use of artificial tissue for transplantation has been unsuccessful. We know that we are not going to live permanently here but after our death, let our eyes live in this world by giving a new life to blind!
Over 90 percent of all cornea transplant operations performed each year successfully restore vision to people suffering from corneal blindness. Donated human eyes and corneal tissue are also used for research and education. How research and education help the cause, you may ask. This is a very important aspect of the eye donation movement. More than 35,000 eyes are used annually for research and education.
Research into glaucoma, retinal disease, complications of diabetes and other sight disorders benefit from donations because many eye problems cannot be simulated and only human eyes can be used. These studies advance the discovery of the causes and effects of specific eye conditions and lead to new treatments and cures.
Other than these, there are a few more compelling reasons why you need to donate your eyes and these include:
- 1.5% of the population is unnecessarily blind
- 25% live below the poverty line
- 2.5 million children are suffering, including those who don't have the correct spectacles
- 32% are under 15
- 60% of blind children will not make it to adulthood. A cumulative economic loss to India's GNP of US$11.1 billion
- 75% live in rural areas
- There are 12,000 ophthalmologists in the country but the majority of them lives and works in the urban areas
- 40% live in rural areas in central & northern India where there is little access to quality eye care services
In the programme, presented by Jaswinder Singh Bitta at Jalandhar Doordarshan, Raj Kishore Kalra, President of Social Welfare Society, Fazilka, actively involved in eye donation campaign and Sandeep Bansal, Eye Specialist also participated.
Kalra said: “The Social Welfare Society, Fazilka is campaigning for donation of eyes after death since 2006 and as on date, the eyes of 198 persons have been collected by the society with the help of their relatives. Besides, with the dedication of Shree Ram Sharnam Eye Donation Help Committee, Fazilka, Jalalabad and Abohar, the eyes of about 600 persons have been collected which have further been transplanted in 1200 persons, giving light to the persons who have lost of their eye sight.”
Kalra had tried to raise awareness among the people to make eye donation programme a family tradition. If the small towns on the Indo-Pak border belt can create awareness among the people of their area, there is no reason that this campaign couldn’t be started at the national level.
Kalra demanded the central government should make eye donation compulsory after death on the pattern of Sri Lanka besides opening of Eye Banks at all the district headquarters.
Kalra further said that SWS have already organized three programmes to honour the families who have helped in collecting the eyes of their nears and dears. This will be a regular feature every year so that more families are motivated to join this noble cause, for giving sight to the sightless, Kalra added.
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