- Health A-Z
- Diet & Fitness
- MY MONEY
- Home Remedies
- Web Stories
"Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see." -Helen Keller, famed deaf blind author.
Helen Keller belonged to the twentieth century and was not fortunate enough to get a second chance at eyesight. The good news is that we've stepped into the next century and so has the progress of medicine. People who are blind in their cornea can now hope to see again with a procedure called the Corneal Transplant in which the damaged opaque cornea is replaced with a clear cornea obtained from a donor.
So, what's stopping 4 million Indian people who are blind in the cornea see again? Unfortunately, we - the people with the gift of eyesight - who are to be blamed. What prevents us from donating the eyes of our near and dear ones when they die? That one act of kindness can give sight to two people.
As of today, eye collection figures stand at around 20,000 eyes per year from approximately 400 eye banks across the country. Considering the fact that about 25,000 blind people are added every year due to disease, injury, infection or malnutrition, the numbers do not even meet up to our annual requirement, leave alone the huge backlog. This is one area where our burgeoning population can be an asset for us, but alas, we lose out on the battle thanks to our attitude.
A startling fact is that we still import eyes from Sri Lanka, a country that is 1/4th our size, not only caters to its own population, but also sends eyeballs to several nations of the world!
A few facts about eye donation
You can donate your eyes even if you:
Cornea cannot be used for transplantation if the patients are identified to be suffering from:
If there is a death in your family and you wish to donate their eyes:
What you can do:
Call your nearest Eye Bank and pledge to donate your eyes. You will be provided with an Eye Donation Card. You can also dial the 24 hour toll free number 1919 for eye donation.
Dr Vandana Jain is a Cornea and External Diseases Specialist and the Co-founder and Director of the Advanced Eye Hospital.
Follow us on