I have been working with individuals to break the myths around eye donation while encouraging them to do their bit.
The most recent event was with the community volunteers of the Ignite programme in Chennai. We opened by asking everyone to close their eyes, look up and walk without bumping into each other. In no time and as expected, everyone realised how difficult it was to walk without knowing what’s around, even if for a few minutes.
Next, in an attempt to understand the group’s knowledge level, I asked if anyone or any of their kins had donated blood – many hands went up. However, when the same question was asked about eye donation, only one hand went up. Thus, the need for today’s session became even more evident!
We then transitioned into facts about eye donation – such as the what, the how, the benefits, who make the perfect target group/segment for donation. These were supported with statistical data gathered from various sources.
Did you know eyes should be donated within four hours from the time of death?
After which, contact the nearest eye hospita. Inform about the person’s demise and their will to donate their eyes.
We also shared why it’s important to have a ‘donor card’ and how this can be simply got online from the government’s organ sharing portal. The donor card is essential to prove one’s willingness to donate organs.
An activity to take home a memory:
The community volunteers were then asked to draw a pair of eyes and write the three important learnings about eye donation. They were encouraged to hang this at their home to further spread the word about eye donation and its merits.
We closed the session with a real-life story of a boy who managed to get consent from his family to donate his grandfather’s eyes, thus providing eyesight to two visually challenged persons!
I believe that if each one of us signed up to be a donor, spread the word about eye donation and consciously spoke about the merits, the world will certainly be much brighter and beautiful to those who are currently battling sightlessness.
Contributor: Ranjith Kumar, Changedriver
Bhumi is one of India’s largest independent youth volunteer non-profit organisations. Bhumi, as a platform, enables over 20,000 volunteers across 10 cities in India for causes like education, environment, animals and community welfare. Sign up to donate blood and spread awareness: bhumi.ngo/volunteer