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Times of India
25 August 2010
Bangalore, India

Don’t Hesitate To Donate, Let There Be Light
Indians have a long way to go as far as eye donation is concerned. Lack of awareness, traditional beliefs, coupled with infrastructural bottlenecks, make this noble act a challenge.

To ward off fears and myths associated with it, an inter–religious leaders’ meet was organized at Narayana Nethralaya on Tuesday .

The National Eye Donation Fortnight is being observed from Wednesday and will continue till September 8. This year, the hospital, in collaboration with Dr Rajkumar Eye Bank and IDL Foundation, has come up with a new concept – ‘Donate Eyes – Gift Sight’– a musical campaign on wheels.

"Last year less than 20,000 persons received eyes as against over 20 lakh needy people," said Dr KBhujang Shetty of Narayana Nethralaya.

Religious leaders from all communities were present to encourage more and more people to take the pledge. "The world around us is so beautiful and everyone has the right to admire its beauty. In Islam, nothing has been mentioned against eye donation,’’ said Shaikh Moulana Khaleelur Rahman, Muslim leader.

The musical band will move around Bangalore and spread the message. "Only around 20,000 pairs of corneas are donated annually in India. The main causes for low turnout of eye donation is lack of awareness, social taboo and religious myths. We must bridge the gap between eye donation and eye requirement," Dr Shetty said.

Eye replacement is a considerably simpler surgery, which doesn’t require major infrastructure. Now there is technology to slice several parts of the cornea. The endothelium or the other end of the cornea provides clarity. People suffering from degeneration of the endothelium can get that alone replaced.

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