Cutting across social, cultureal and age barriers, thousands of conscientious citizens of Kolkata joined the awareness rally to donate eyes and gift a sight to thousands who are visually impaired. Nearly 15 million of the estimated 45 million people in the world without vision are in India. The country needs two lakh corneas each year but not more than 50,000 corneas are collected annually
13 April, 2018 Kolkata: Drishtikon – An Eye Donation Awareness Rally – was taken out in Kolkata today from Sealdah to Rani Rashmoni Avenue in which thousands of people representing different walks of life joined in including school children, students, academia, doctors, celebrities, cable operators and others.
This awareness walk was initiated by SITI Cable Networks, one of India’s largest multi-system operators providing digital cable TV services across India, in association with Sankara Nethralaya, a non-profit missionary institution for ophthalmic care of Chennai.
“The theme of the Rally – `Let me be the one to give you Love, Peace and Happiness to other through my eyes’ – was named after the much-awaited Bengali movie of 2018 by Kaushik Ganguly called ‘Drishtikone’ which is all about cornea transplant. The objective of the rally is to create awareness to eliminate avoidable blindness through eye donation,” said Mr Anurag Chirimar of SITI Networks.
According to Sankara Nethralaya, nearly 15 million of the estimated 45 million people in the world without vision are in India. Of these, 6.8 million suffer from corneal blindness with vision less than 6/60 in at least one eye, and of these, about 1 million have bilateral corneal blindness. If the present trend continues, it is expected that the number of corneally blind individuals in India will increase to 10.6 million by 2020.
The country needs two lakh corneas each year but not more than 50,000 corneas are collected annually. The world over, corneal blindness is the fourth major reason for blindness after cataract, glaucoma and ageing. Awareness to pledge one’s eyes can go a long way to combat avoidable blindness in India.