Eye Donations: Giving the Gift of Sight
Two million people in India suffer from blindness due to damaged or diseased corneas. The cornea is the transparent diaphragm that overlays the iris, and being at the very front of the eyeball is prone to damage. When a person expires, the cornea of the eye can be removed and used to restore the sight of a blind person. There is a continual shortage of living corneal material, which is stored in special “eye banks.” Only hospitals registered under the Transplantation of Human Organs Act of 1994 may perform the operation to remove the eyes, which then have to be used within six hours.
For Amritavarsham50, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math called for thousands of eye donors to come forward and help give the gift of site. AYUDH (Amrita Yuva Dharmadhara) the Math’s youth wing, organized the appeal and distributed thousands upon thousands of forms.
On Amma’s birthday, 10,000 people pledged to donate their eyes to this cause upon their deaths. Each donor received an “eye-donation card” to carry on their person to facilitate identification and transmittal upon their demise.