A unique festival ‘Of the Blind for the Blind’ to commemorate National Eye Donation Fortnight
6 September 2016 Bengaluru: Narayana Nethralaya, the Number one Eye Hospital of Karnataka, in association with its two Eye Banks, Dr. Rajkumar Eye Bank, Rajajinagar & Dr. Shankaranand Eye Bank, electronic city organized “Drishti Santhe 2016” a festival with a theme ‘Of the Blind, For the Blind’ to commemorate the National Eye Donation Fortnight observed between August 25th to September 8th every year.
The Event was inaugurated by Dr. K. Bhujang Shetty, Chairman & Managing Director of Narayana Nethralaya, Mr. Diganth & Aindhrita Ray, Cine Artists of Kannada Film Industry. Mrs. Maya Chandra, film Maker and M.K. Krishna, Chair Person, South Zone - Eye Bank Association of India were the guest of honours.
The objective of the programme, as always was to create awareness on Eye Donation & Eye Pledging as more than 1.5 crores of our countrymen, women and children who are corneally blind are currently waiting for someone to donate their eyes. Every year during this fortnight, Narayana Nethralaya conducts events and awareness programs to encourage pledging and puts in lot of effort to sensitize the importance of Eye Donation & Pledging eyes. Hundreds of visually challenged people wait with a thin ray of hope of them getting sight through a sensible donor.
Most of us are aware of the problems faced by visually impaired people and sympathize with them. But we are rarely able to stand in their shoes and experience their problems. Some of us move a step ahead in helping them when they are around us and some of us make a mile of a difference in bringing smiles in their lives by pledging our eyes, said Film Actor Diganth who was the chief guest of the programme.
“The Energy these less fortunate children emitted was so powerful that one could really feel how confident and enthusiastic they were in comparison to a normal person” said Aindhrita Ray who was also a part of the colourful Festival. “I could really feel and experience how a life of Visually Challenged was” she said.
The festival of hope for the visually challenged provided a great opportunity to exhibit their talent and skills. They not only participated in Elocution contests, Painting Competitions and Story Telling in which they participated with other normal school children across Bangalore, but also exhibited their skills in hand made artificial flowers, different products and services for persons with vision impairment and other braille education products.
On this occasion, Mrs. Maya Chandra, Film Maker who is working on a Documentary on Harish Nanjappa who died in a road accident released the trailer of the Documentary and a song written by him. “Harish had the selflessness to pledge his eyes and organs even in his dying moments which inspired his whole village to pledge eyes. He has sent a very strong message of turning his weakest moment into his strongest by thinking of doing good to society. He made his life purposeful even in those dying moments. It’s inspiring how he managed to do that even in that condition. We thought this is a very apt example to depict the value of selflessness in a world where most people are so indifferent. We wanted to capture the aftermath of the incident and send a strong message to society on how brave and selfless a man can be even in death,” said Ms. Maya who is also playing a pivotal role and working closely with Narayana Nethralaya in increasing Awareness on Eye donation.
According to Indian council of Medical Research (ICMR) study on blindness show that about 25% of the total blind in India are blind due to corneal blindness. we require really a large number of people to donate their eyes if we want to treat these patients. There is a huge gap between the supply and demand of eyes, supply being 10% of demand! And in a country like India this gap is ever increasing. Therefore, creating awareness amongst the masses and encouraging them to pledge their eyes for donation is critical and I am glad to be associated with Narayana Nethralaya for this noble cause said Mr. M.K. Krishna, Chair Person, South Zone - Eye Bank Association of India
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. K. Bhujang Shetty, Chairman & Managing Director, Narayana Nethralaya said, “We at Narayana Nethralaya have been consistent in putting efforts to create awareness among the citizens of Bangalore to meet ends of demand & supply of eyes. Every single day, we have been putting forth the significant message to people promoting the eye donation process and creating awareness & importance of eye donation / eye pledging and have been striving to give normal life to the less fortunate who have not been able to see the light of the day. We have been organizing periodical Hospital Cornea Retrieval programme to encourage Doctors and Nurses of various hospitals to support us in Eye Collections. We have also introduced an award last year in the Name of Harish Nanjappa to the organizations which collect the highest number of eyes. We participated in a blind walk organized by Sakshama Foundation in creating awareness on Eye Donation and managed to get 220 eye pledges in one day. We are proud to inform that for the Year 2015, we collected a record 1681 eyes out of the 3500 Eyes collected in Karnataka which is the highest by any hospital in State. We have been proud to be a part of this noble cause since 1994 he concluded.