2000 Navi Mumbaikars turn up for “Tamso Ma Jyotirgamya”, one of the biggest eye donation rally in the country.
On a cold Sunday morning of 12 January, 2000 Navi Mumbaikars turned out to pledge their eyes and walk together for promoting eye donation. The event was organized by Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute (AEHI), Sanpada, One Vision Health & Research Foundation, Rotary Club of Satellite city and MGM Hospital, Vashi.
The walk started in front of Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute at Palm Beach Road and then proceeded to Shivaji Chowk Vashi. On the way there were dance performances by staff of AEHI, slogans and songs by kids from various schools. The whole event was anchored by RJ Archana from Radio City. The guests of honour included Mr Vijay Patil, Commissioner of Traffic Police, Mr Purushottam Karad, DCP and Dr Nitin Kadam- Trustee MGM Trust.
Dr Vandana Jain, Cornea Surgeon trained from Harvard and LV Prasad Eye Institute and Director of Advanced Eye Hospital addressed the audience at Shivaji Chowk and said “India still imports corneas from Sri Lanka as inspite of 30% of Indians knowing about eye donation only 0.1% actually have pledged their eyes. We wish to make Navi Mumbai the model city and promote eye donation in a big way. AEHI has a helpline 9833935315 for calling up if anyone wants to donate or pledge their eyes. We urge everyone to come forward and pledge their eyes”
With more than 2000 people walking together for this cause, this was easily the biggest eye donation rallies in India. This walk has helped raise awareness in a big way as was witnessed by the fervent slogans and interest shown by the people on the streets. The kids were entertained and engaged by a stilt walker and a Chota Bheem mascot and there were songs played about eyes during the walk. RJ Archana had been talking about the event on Radiocity for last one week and had also interviewed Dr Vandana Jain. She said “the fervor and single minded devotion of the people which I saw on the streets was overwhelming today. I plan to urge people on radio to donate their eyes and talk about the event as well”
Dr Nitin Kadam, Director of MGM Hospital Vashi said “MGM group of institutes supports eye donation and has partnered with AEHI on this social cause. We will ensure that our employees and doctors are sensitized towards helping everyone in this social cause”
Mr Kedar Ghorpade, President of Rotary club of Satellite City explained “Inspite of all the awareness drives, eye donation rates in Navi Mumbai are still low. We have partnered with AEHI to make sure that things improve. We urge all Navi Mumbaikars to pledge their eyes”
Dr A K Singal, Founder Trustee of One Vision Health & Research Foundation, explained “It is amazing to see so much of support pouring in for this social cause. For the next 5 years, One Vision team has pledged to work tirelessly on various health issues in Navi Mumbai starting with making Navi Mumbai Blindness free. All poor people are welcome to approach us and we will support their treatment in partnership with AEHI”
Mr Purushottam Karad said “For the first time I have walked in the crowd as a common man otherwise as a policeman I am always on the outside. I really enjoyed the event and I will urge all police force to pledge their eyes and set an example”
The rally finished at Shivaji Chowk with Mr Shravan himself a blind person sang two songs in both male and female voices followed by a skit and a dance performance by AEHI troupe
A lot of NGO’s, schools, colleges and institutes participated in the rally which enthralled people. Besides 200 doctors who were there at the event, the walk saw support from organizations such as, Kutch Yuvak Sangh, Indian Medical Association, Navi Mumbai Surgical Society, Schools such as Avalon Heights, St Lawrence, Poddar international, NIFT, Yerla Medical Trust, Sterling NCRD College, ICL College, SIES College Nerul, Modern College Vashi, IRIS business services, Pillai College NGO- Awaaz, Indian Navy, Anti Corruption Intelligence Committee, Agarwal Samaj, Lohana Samaj, Mangalam Foundation, MITR Hospital Kharghar, Hellen Keller Institute, Ronak Advertising, Indian Merchant Chamber, Kannada Samaj, Tarun Mitr Mandal, Jan Seva Mitr Mandal, Lions Club, NGO – Aarambh, Ritika Advertising and media, Achievers Zone & Success foundation, Kannada Samaj, , Golden Punjab hotel and Four points Hotel Vashi. All these organizations and many more participated in the event.
About Corneal Blindness:
25 lakh Indians are suffering from corneal blindness and there is only one hope for them – Corneal transplant– a surgery to replace Cornea (outer clear part of eye) which will enable them to see again. Unfortunately, the wait to get a cornea through eye donation is a never ending one as the rates of eye donation are abysmally low in India. Prevalent socio-cultural beliefs and lack of awareness are the biggest roadblocks in making eye donation a universal phenomenon.
Inspite of numerous eye donation drives and awareness, the recent data shows that although30% of the Indian public knows about eye donation but only 0.1% of India’s population has actually pledged their eyes. So awareness drives have led to just awareness but not actual eye pledging and eye collection.
Advanced Eye Hospital and Institute (AEHI) along with One Vision Foundation, Rotary Club of Satellite city and MGM Hospital Vashi have embarked upon a journey to change this dismal situation. We firmly believe that “Awareness precedes choice and choice precedes results” Hence, the first step in this direction is to create awareness in Navi Mumbai & Mumbai about eye pledging and eye donation.
The collective power of people walking together can make a difference. You can get the details of the event here: http://www.advancedeyehospital.com/media/event/An-Awareness-Walk-for-Eye-Donation.aspx.
As a prelude to the event, staff of Advanced eye hospital did a flash mob dance sequence at Vashi Railway Station and Inorbit mall on 7/1/2014 urging all the common people and Navi Mumbaikars to join the social cause.
To Pledge your eyes for donation
Call 9833935315 or logging online www.advancedeyehospital.com or calling up AEHI at 02267313636