Eyes are supposed to be the windows to the soul. People with the boon of eyesight cannot even start to imagine a world devoid of colors and light. It is the responsibility of each and every conscious citizen of India to mark his eyes for donation, in his lifetime. It won’t cost you money, but will surely buy a blind human a life of vision and sight. Donating eyes has become as easy as buying a new dress online. A few clicks and you join the long list of people who spare a though for the less fortunate and try to do their extra bit in their lifetime. Have a look at the simple steps that need to be followed to become an eye donor in India.
7. Statistics of India
India is facing an acute shortage of eye donors. The main reason for fewer donors is the lack of general awareness, old religious beliefs, superstitions and a lack of infrastructure. The agencies are facing an uphill battle in trying to achieve their goals. India has a shocking 3.5 million people with corneally blindness and a staggering number of 25000 is added each year to it. There is every possibility that people who have a BPL status will never see the light of the day again, unless we have donors, who are willing to make this sacrifice for a needy one.
6. What is an eye bank?
Eye banks are institutions that are responsible for processing and harvesting corneas that are donated. They are also assigned the role of making sure that the corneal graft surgeons get the eyes on time. They come under the local health system of the primary hospital of the region. The cornea harvesting can be in forms-
- The entire eye is removed, called enucleation.
- Only the cornea is removed, called in situ corneal excision.
In both the cases only a trained eye care technician or ophthalmology specialist is authorized to do the removal. The eyes can be collected from the home, funeral ground or the hospital.
5. Pledge your eyes
Once the decision is made to pledge the eyes follow these steps-
- Locate the nearest eye bank.
- Fill the simple pledge form.
- Fill all the details carefully regarding age, contact details and get two witnesses to sign it.
- Submit it with the eye bank.
4. Keep your loved ones informed
Filling the form and submission is just one fourth of the job done. The most important step in this journey is sharing this decision with your immediate family. The real onus lies with the family members, to fulfill the donors wish after his death. Discussion with the family is important as the consent of the family is most essential at the time of death.
3. Gift of light
Even if the deceased had not pledged his eye while alive, the donation is still possible. The purpose of pledging is to create a sense of awareness in the general public. If somebody dies in the family, the relatives just need to dial the closest eye bank. It is moral responsibility of the family to ensure that the yes are donated on time. We all should know the donation will get a go ahead only when the family members will give consent and respect the wishes of the deceased. Details of Blind Associations in India Are-
2. Quick Response is most critical
Once the donor has died the family needs to contact the eye bank immediately, to avoid any deterioration in the quality of the eye. Keep the following points in mind-
- Close the eyes of the deceased.
- Switch off the fan and switch on the air conditioner of the room where the body is kept.
- Raise the head of the donor by about 6 inches by placing pillows under it.
- The eyes need to be harvested within 6 hours of death.
1. Be proud of your Donor Card
People who have pledged their eyes are issued a donor card that should be carried with them at all times. It is also advised to get potential donor mentioned on the driving license. There are many NGO’s and other private institutions who provide the facility of signing up for donation online. The details of prominent eye banks in India are-